According to Chandler Parsons, Dwight Howard made the decision to sign with the Houston Rockets largely based on their friendship and the swingman’s persuasive abilities. Parsons isn’t joking. Per Yahoo! Sports: “I think I had a big impact,’ Parsons said at USA Basketball’s mini-camp. ‘The first thing he said at the press conference was that, ‘You guys should thank Chandler Parsons because he is a big reason why I am here.’ Obviously, he loves the team, [general manager] Daryl Morey, coach [Kevin] McHale and all that. But I think I just gave him that comfort that you got one of your boys here who is also a key part to the team, a young guy. And we can grow on this for a long time.’ Parsons is an Orlando native and former University of Florida basketball player who originally met Howard while Howard starred with the Orlando Magic. The two became closer after Parsons switched to Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, in May. That connection sparked a fast friendship between Parsons and Howard, and eventually worked to the Rockets’ benefit during the free-agency recruitment. ‘I spent a lot of time during the summer in L.A.,’ Parsons said. ‘We kind of just hit it off. We literally would text every day. He’d call me at 8 p.m. with a question and then he’d call me at midnight with the same question. I respect the way he handled [his free agency]. He took his time and weighed all his options. I was just that guy trying to make him feel as comfortable as possible. We have very similar personalities. We are both outgoing. We’re always smiling. We like to have fun. I made him really comfortable that he was not only coming to a really good team, but a team with his friends on it.’ [...] ‘I told him how good I thought we could be,’ Parsons said. ‘If you add him with me, James and Jeremy [Lin], Omer Asik … [and] what better coach to play for than a top-50 NBA player of all time in McHale? With ‘Dream’ [Hakeem Olajuwon], Yao [Ming] and Ralph [Sampson] and all these centers that had success in Houston, I think it was a no-brainer for him.’ Parsons told Howard that playing for the Rockets was like playing for a ‘college team.’ And he told Howard that the Rockets would be a good playoff team without Howard, but great with him.”