HOUSTON – With Dwight Howard signed, sealed and delivered to the Houston Rockets, will he be the next big man to the Rockets to a title?
Howard, who averaged 17.2 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks for the Los Angeles Lakers, looks to redeem himself in Space City and away from the spotlight and glamour of Tinseltown.
It is not too often that a marquee free agent of Howard’s stature jilts the 16-time champion Lakers for another team—unless it is the arch-nemesis Celtics—but to leave an extra $30 million on the table for the tax-free dry heat of oil-rich Texas seems almost a bit foolhardy on his part, don’t you think?
In addition to their storied history of Hall of Famers, Howard could have followed in the Lakers long line of big men ranging from George Mikan, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and most recently Shaquille O’Neal and the chance to add his own name to that illustrious list.
In Los Angeles, one couldn’t help but notice that Howard was not his usual happy-go-lucky self as his career averages in points (18.3) rebounds (12.9) would show a slight decline.
Despite finishing second in the league in double-doubles with 48, his 17.1 points would tie him for 27th in the NBA, and show that he was a bad fit for head coach Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system.
While I am no fan of how Howard left the Lakers for the “small town” Rockets, this writer would never think of the day in which someone would replace LeBron James as the most hated and reviled man in the league—and this is from a Cavs fan no less—The King is a saint compared to Dwight the Coward, as he is now known is Laker fan circles.
As of now, Howard has exhausted, whatever sympathy is left, as he made his choice, chose his bed—and team—and must now be happy with it, because any more whining out of the player once known as Superman will prompt opposing fans to wear kryptonite-color foam fingers as this point.
Thanks to his presence, Houston is no longer a last-place slouch in the Southwest, but a legit power in the West, the question is, will Howard’s heart be in it this time?
In Houston, Howard will be paired with All-Star shooting guard James Harden, Johnny-come-lately overnight sensation Jeremy Lin and the ever-emerging small forward in Chandler Parsons to form a deadly inside-outside style of play that helped establish Howard as one of the NBA’s premier players when he was with the Orlando Magic.
And while not as glamorous or storied in the annals of NBA canon, the Rockets legacy of big men is just as formidable as the Lakers—if the NBA.
Starting with Elvin Hayes in 1968, the Rockets have had the likes of Ralph Sampson, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, Moses Malone and Yao Ming grace the hardwood floors of the old San Diego Sports Arena, Summit—and most recently Toyota Center.
In Houston, Howard will have the chance to add to the Rockets big man legacy, who combined for four NBA Finals appearances (losses to Boston in 1981 and 1986, wins over New York and the Magic in 1994 and 1995) and 33 All-Star games with Ming having the most with eight.
Whether or not, Howard leads the Rockets to their third NBA title remains to be seen, but in signing his shiny new four-year $88 million deal, will the three-time NBA Defensive Player Of The Year now re-branded as “Rocket Man” be ready for launch come November?
#ANEWAGE #Rockets #D12 #DwightHoward #LakerNation #Dwightmare
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber