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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Interviews — Jazz's Josh Howard on religion, Dallas, post-NBA life, shopping with Devin Harris

Leftover quotes and notes from a Monday feature about Jazz forward Josh Howard.

Growing up:

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Howard's mother married his stepfather in 1991.

"Some of the things my stepdad taught me, I still carry with me up until this day," Howard said.

The couple are still married and attended Utah games this season in Toronto and Dallas, brining Howard's children with them.

Howard never knew his biological father.

"I don't hold that against him because I don't know the relationship that he and my Mom had," Howard said. "As far as being a man and trying to reach out to me, I still don't know why. But at this point, I'm a grown man myself. So I don't hold nothing against him. It's just life. A life lesson."

Howard isn't married but hopes to be one day.

Religion:

"With the way the world was turning, Islam was a big focal point and I always found that interesting. I wanted to be a part of religion. Just some of the similarities it had with Christianity and a lot of other religions that it had similarities to. On top of that, the world was kind of focusing on it. It wasn't a bad idea to pick up a little more knowledge on that. So that's what I did."

"I respect how they — what's the word I'm looking for? — how they're dedicated to their prayer, their God or the Prophet Muhammad. It's a dedication that they have that you don't see in too many other religions. For them to be able to hold that and maintain that feeling about what they believe in speaks a lot about them. And I kind of carried that over to how I carry myself, even with sports. Just being dedicated hands-down to what I do. Because not too many people, as you can see, can do this job."

"Taking it a step further … I was born breached and bowlegged, so they had to break my legs. I don't really share that much. But for me to make it through that, it let me know that somebody was up there watching me. I keep rolling. I keep trucking. Even with the ACL injury, for me to be able to come back as fast as I did … playing on one leg."

"I haven't found a church [in Salt Lake City]. I just keep a relationship with God."

Education:

Howard said most athletes were pushed to study Sociology at Wake Forest but it didn't fit him. He wanted to study religion, since it meshed with his background and caught his interest.

While Howard has continued to educate himself and open his mind as he's grown older, he acknowledged, "Most people don't think I went to college."

Dallas:

"At that time, I kind of stepped out of myself and who I was. I got caught up in the world and not doing the things that got me to that point, as far as the success I had. And learning how to share my views or keep my views to myself. … I never thought about what other people thought until those things happened. I'm still kind of like that. But I know for the most part I need to keep my opinions to myself. And if there's somebody who wants to hear my opinion, I'll share it. But other than that, it's just more so me being by myself and keeping that to myself."

United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003:

"I got into some hot water about some of the things I said about the war. … Bush getting us in war, and I felt like we shouldn't be in the war at the time."

"I remember I got hate mail. A guy basically told me I should stay in my place and be a basketball player and don't talk. When I read it, I seriously took offense. You really don't know who I am or what I know or what I do. It was just a part of life and part of growing up."

Wizards:

"Just having time to sit back and evaluate what got me to that point and what it was going to take for me to get back to who I am and who I know I am. … That was the turning point for me."

Jazz:

Howard was confident the Jazz would draft him in 2003 and thought his predraft workout with the team went very well.

"When they called and said they wanted to be part of the team it was like, 'Wow.' After all these years, Utah — who ever would've thought?"

Life:

Howard said opening his own business or getting into real estate after ending his NBA career would be too "easy." He wants to do something more challenging and rewarding, and he's been inspired by Jalen Rose.

Howard's also open to the idea of coaching — he'll take the NBA coach's class for players this summer.

"This is my second chance to give it all I've got and that's all I'm going to do. … As long as I keep my head on straight and keep getting this leg right."

"For me to get through life and still be here today, somebody's up there watching me and taking care of me. "

"It's just a matter of time before I get this body the way I want it and give it to them all over again."

"I had a lot of fans that said that to me as well: 'I never would've expected Josh Howard to be here.' "

Howard is still good friends with Devin Harris and the two hang out about once a week during the season, mainly on the road. What do they do during their freetime? Of course, they rock the mall.

"That's my little shopping buddy right there," said Howard, referring to Harris.

The latter wins the fashion award. Howard only wears what feels right.

"I give him the style," Howard said. "I'm real laid back around it. If it ain't comfortable, I won't wear it."

All Howard heard about before signing with the Jazz was how bad the cold weather is. Not true at all, he says. It's colder in the South and the East Coast. Plus, he doesn't live in SLC year-round.

The city's family-friendly environment greatly appeals to Howard during the second stage of his career.

"That was one of my main decisions as far as coming here — the lifestyle and having my kids around. I knew it was real laid back, kind of like where I'm from in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It's a nice surprise for me to see how real laid back it is. The fans and the people that live here, they've accepted me with open arms. I haven't had anybody yell in my face to me yet. I'm happy about that."

Howard still collects classic cars and is currently working on a couple.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz



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