As the Knicks continue to do their due diligence in their search for a new head coach, NBA all-star turned Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard is reportedly receiving consideration with an interview.
Any time someone comes from the Pat Riley umbrella in Miami (with tutelage and two NBA championship rings from his time under Erik Spoelstra), that’s a huge plus. Howard shares a Michigan connection with Knicks General Manager Scott Perry, so perhaps that will earn him brownie points as well. His promise for the position remains to be seen. Nevertheless, his emergence into the team’s coaching search provides an opportune time to share a funny story from actor and Knicks fan Richard Schiff.
When speaking to KnicksJournal.com about his favorite basketball team, the Emmy winner also beamed at the opportunity to share screen time with NBA stars. This meant suffering a knee injury, in exchange for the chance to also share the court with Howard, was well worth it!
“There was this basketball sequence on The West Wing. We actually shot it on Pennslvania Avenue in front of The White House. I heard Juwan was going to be the ringer in the scene. We weren’t shooting until it got dark, so we had three hours of daylight to kill and a hoop just sitting there,” he said. “I walked up to Juwan and said, ‘hey, let’s go!'”
His story continued, “We played 3 on 3 for hours. Since we weren’t shooting until later, the director warned us to take it easy so that we wouldn’t hurt ourselves. I had already had a left knee operation. Sure enough, right before we stopped, my knee tweaked! I just felt severe pain and rushed to the PA to get me some ice and a rack. We didn’t tell anyone. I rushed to my trailer and iced the knee before we shot.”
Unfortunately, the injury lingered! “When I woke up the next morning, I couldn’t bend it. We had our first official tour of Bill Clinton’s White House and I was on crutches,” Schiff said. “The Oval Office resembled our set so much. I was tempted to just drop down on one of the couches and take a nap!”
Soon after, the actor found out Howard respected his skills and could spot his Big Apple roots in the way he played.
“A couple months later, I met a veteran we hired as an extra and he had a story for me. He said he was sitting next to Juwan the day we played. Juwan told him to watch me and said, ‘that guy’s New York! Watch him!’ I thought, that’s the greatest compliment I’ve ever gotten.”
Perhaps if he’s hired as the Knicks’ next head coach, Howard will already have a fast fan.