Rockets center Dwight Howard revealed that his old coach in Orlando, Stan Van Gundy, encouraged him to leave the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent and sign with the Rockets. Per the Houston Chronicle: “I talked to Stan a lot during last season,’ Howard said. ‘During the offseason, we talked and he felt like the system that would fit me best and the coaching staff would be Houston. He said he liked (Kevin McHale). He likes (Hakeem Olajuwon). He likes (James Harden) and the fact that this is a young team. It reminds him of the team we had in Orlando so he felt like this would be a good fit for me.’ The relationship the two have might have seemed unlikely to some after reports of bad blood in Orlando. But Howard said that he trusts his former coach and the two are still close. ‘One side is business and one side is personal,’ he said. ‘On the business end, we probably didn’t work well together toward the end of our careers in Orlando. But on the personal level, we have always had respect for each other. We have always been able to sit down and talk to each other.’ He said he trusted Van Gundy’s advice a lot while he was making a decision. ‘From a guy who has coached me and he understands situations that are going to make me thrive,’ Howard said. ‘He knows me best. We were together for five years. We had great years together, great runs in the playoffs so he understands what it would take to win. Stan is a guru when it comes to studying basketball. Getting advice from him has always been beneficial to me.’”