When Josh Howard and Marquis Daniels joined the Mavs together they were sort of like two slinky, head-banded twins. They're friendship sure felt like a couple of brothers.
"I think we both had positive influences on each other," Howard said back in April during the playoffs. "I learned things from him like he learned things from me. We both had an affect on each other.
"On and off the court, Marquis and me had a lot of similarities."
Both came to the Mavs as underrated rookies - Howard the 29th pick overall out of Wake Forest and Daniels was undrafted out of Auburn. During the playoffs that first year, Daniels even surpassed Howard in minutes under Don Nelson.
Obviously, we all know how their careers have gone since. Howard has risen to All-Star status. Daniels fell out of favor with Avery Johnson and was off to Indiana.
I'm still not sure if Avery grew tired of Daniels' play or was afraid he was always a step away from trouble off the court. Of course, Daniels found trouble almost immediately in Indiana hanging around with Stephen Jackson. Then injuries hurt him and it's been a tough, tough road.
But, Daniels might be a guy to keep an eye on this season. While it's not unusual for an athlete to re-dedicate himself after difficult times, Daniels has been hard at work this offseason, vowing to get his career back on the fast track.
A piece on a Pacers Web site gives a good peak into Daniels' mindset as he enters his fifth season.