Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon says Dwight Howard is ready to once again dominate his position, and that he should be the NBA’s best player in 2014-’15.

Howard is fit and feeling strong again, having recovered from a 2012 operation on his back, and Olajuwon thinks the Rockets have what it takes to contend for a championship.

Dwight, 28, averaged 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots in his first season with the Rockets.

Per NBA.com:

“He’s healthy. He’s strong. He’s ready,” said Olajuwon, who won the award in 1994 when he led the Rockets to the first of their back-to-back championships. “Now it’s about having the attitude to go out every night and dominate.”

 

“He’s older, more mature and you can tell that he is feeling better physically,” Olajuwon said. “I like what I saw. He is a very hard worker. He takes the job seriously and you can see that he has used some of the things we talked about last season and is making them part of his game.”

 

“I played at a time when were so many players that could win the MVP each year — Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone. It meant you weren’t going to win the MVP every year. But you had to play like an MVP and have your name in the conversation. I believe that’s where Dwight is now. He is healthy. He is physically fit. He is strong. He wants to win. […] It is about attitude. He should have a season that makes everyone vote for him as MVP. If that happens, they should be contenders for the championship. I believe that. Now they have to believe it.”