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Friday, July 5th, 2013 at 7:20 pm  |  103 responses

Dwight Howard Reportedly Chose the Houston Rockets


There was good reason for pessimism among the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans. Dwight Howard has apparently chosen to sign with the Houston Rockets — though the big fella’s agent stresses that nothing has been finalized as of yet, the free agent center is expected to make it official tonight or tomorrow. The Rockets’ front-office is cautiously optimistic. Per USA Today and Yahoo! Sports: “After 20 months of twists and turns in the Dwight Howard saga, a person with knowledge of his decision said he will join the Houston Rockets. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because his decision had not yet been announced. After being traded from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team deal a year ago, Howard entered the summer unsure of what he might do because of the awful Lakers season that had unfolded. His partnership with Kobe Bryant never went as planned, nor did his recovery from back surgery in April 2012 that hindered his play for most of the season. The five-team race between the Rockets, Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks included lengthy meetings with each team in Los Angeles this week that not only would determine his final destination but also slow a free agency period that should speed up now that his decision is known. [...] ‘He hopes to finalize his decision [Friday night] or [Saturday] morning,’ Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan said. Howard is eligible for a four-year, $88 million maximum deal from the Rockets unless they negotiate a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers. His final hesitancy centered on leaving a fifth guaranteed year and $30 million – which the Lakers can give him – on the negotiating table, sources said. [...] In addition to the Rockets and Lakers, Howard seriously considered the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors. He informed the Mavs and Warriors earlier Friday that they were no longer in the running.”

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  • OfftheWall87

    Best move. Will be booed in LA but no one fears Laker fans. Won’t be as bad as what LeBron got in Cleveland his first time back. A lot of pressure on him now to win. He picked this team. He has two of the best post players ever around to teach him. 3rd best two guard playing with him. Shooters around. The Lakers will be bad. Until Jim Buss changes his approach or lets his sister run things, superstar players won’t be tripping over each other trying to get to LA anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    So he said he would make his decision by Friday.. and now it’s Friday OR Saturday? lol

  • VanCityBBall

    FINALLY, i almost don’t care as much at what team he chose than that he finally made a decision. But this is a good move imo, finally a coach who knows how to feed the post for him

  • RKJ92

    Sources are saying Hawks and Rockets are now in trade talks regarding Josh Smith for Asik, and other assets.. possibly Lin.

  • RunNGun

    This is great news; the DWIGHTMARE is over! Lakers fans on suicide watch. Look out! D12 will be a great fit with Lin, Harden, Parson, and Asik (if this isn’t a sign-and-trade).

  • OfftheWall87

    …It’s only been 4 days since he became a free agent. This is a pretty quick decision especially for him. And for him to have his people call all the teams he turned down…he’s handling this pretty well.

  • KingBenjamin

    Dwight Coward, that’s all I have to say.

  • RKJ92

    ^ Laker Fan ^

  • VanCityBBall

    Well 4 straight days of what felt like a continued “Dwightmare” from last time, and constant 24/7 watch on this, feels like forever. It can really mess you mentally- well me anyways… You just reminded me it has only been 4 days, but what I’m trying to say is it felt like longer

  • OfftheWall87

    Staying would have been the coward move. Leaving to play with a team who will feature him is a grown man move. Leaving the Lakers franchise is a grown man move.

  • RunNGun

    Agreed about Buss Jr is really stinking it up and that LA is headed downhill from here. Well, all Lakers fans can hope for now is LBJ in 2014 (like that’s really going to happen). :)

  • OfftheWall87

    He didn’t start it though unlike the Magic fiasco. He’s been quiet and nothing has come out until the day he said he would make his decision, even though he hasn’t said a word about it himself.

  • Lupin DGK

    Prepare for drama, Houston. Rent-a-Center has arrived.

  • Dagger

    This was the logical choice. The coach is one of the best bigs ever, maybe the best post moves ever. The other contender for the crown of best-ever post moves lives in the city and helped make Houston’s pitch. Lots of talent and good shooting on the roster. Howard would share the spotlight with a relatively laid back guy who isn’t obsessed with his alpha dog status. And apparently Houston offers good inroads into the Chinese market.

    It all makes sense, but: wow. Has this ever happened to the Lakers? Looks like Kobe is stuck on five, and what a reversal for Mitch Kupchak from a year ago. Looking towards the future, yeah LA will have cap space in 2014, but besides the city and the team’s wealth, what assets will the Lakers use to attract free agents?

  • RunNGun

    When D12 came to the Lakers, every LAKER fan lauded their team as the best on paper even though they knew he was a one-year rental; they didn’t care and they assumed the inevitable would happen. Now that he’s leaving, he’s a coward? LOL Stay classy, Laker fans.

  • EJ

    I’m a Lakers fan and I think Dwight is a great player, but I’m glad he’s gone.
    That’s how annoying this guy is.

  • Dagger

    I read that he called the teams himself. Maybe, just maybe, he’s learned something from his past failures.

  • OfftheWall87

    If Magic Johnson doesn’t become an important figure in the franchise again, I don’t see them getting any big free agents in 2014. And I don’t think he wants to be a big part of anything as long as Jim Buss is running the franchise. I don’t understand how a serious pitch can be made to a free agent without Magic being a part of the group.

  • OfftheWall87

    If he’s going to mature, doing it as he heads to a new team with a lot of pressure on him is the perfect time for it.

  • robb

    As much as I dislike Dwight I gotta be honest here. This was the best move for him. He’s gonna be more comfortable in Houston, and if he’s comfortable he’s gonna perform. Kobe’s not the biggest problem, it’s D’Antoni, I wouldn’t want to play for him either. The Lakers are an older team, no bench, the situation there is pretty unclear. Who knows maybe in 2014 they could try to sign Carmelo or Lebron, but Dwight doesn’t want to wait. Gettin D’Antoni over Phil is having serious consequences. Good job Jimmy Buss.

  • Dagger

    The franchise needs more Jeanie and a whole lot less Jim.

  • VanCityBBall

    Yeah thats true i didn’t really think of that… compared to the Magic drama, this is almost like nothing.

  • berkamore

    The Lakers sure changed that billboard fast. (And you have to say it like Aaron Paul in “Breaking Bad”). ROFL.

  • robb

    yeah, I’m glad too. I don’t hate him for leaving, I’ve always disliked him, but he did the right thing for himself, I wish the Lakers front office could do the same.

  • KingBenjamin

    Your absolutely right, he’s going to be comfortable in Houston because the coach is actually going to utilize his abilities unlike D’Antoni, and if I were Dwight I would have left too.

    Yes D’Antoni is a problem, a major one, but no one is a bigger problem for the Lakers than Jim Buss. He’s the reason why all this happened, I can pretty much guarantee that none of this would have happened had the Lakers not catered to Steve Nash and hired D’Antoni over Phil.

    The Lakers showed no desperation in keeping Dwight, if I were the Lakers I would have fired D’Antoni as soon as the season ended an hired Phil or Brian Shaw to coach and I’m pretty sure Dwight would have ran to the Lakers and signed that extension.

  • OfftheWall87

    I’m not even sure hiring D’Antoni was about Steve Nash. I think it was more about not hiring Phil.

  • KingBenjamin

    No Laker fan even thought for a second that Dwight wouldn’t re-sign when the Lakers acquired him. Every one thought even non-Laker fans, that the Lakers were legitimate title contenders before the season started and that Dwight wouldn’t want to leave Hollywood.

  • robb

    absolutely.

  • KingBenjamin

    That too, but they wanted him just for the simple fact that PGs aren’t really utilized in the triangle offense and they wanted to bring back “SHOWTIME” which is nearly impossible when you have two 7 footers, one with knee problems (Gasol) and the other coming off of back surgery (Dwight), now the move has came back to bite them in the ass.

  • shockexchange

    Months ago when the Shock Exchange nicknamed D12 “Rent-A-Center” and suggested he would bolt L.A., someone exclaimed, “Dwight has 30 million reasons why he’ll re-sign with L.A. You don’t know what you talkin’ bout Shock.” Where’s all that mouf now?

  • KingBenjamin

    How would staying have been a coward move? Who says they wouldn’t have adjusted their system for him since he would have been the future of the franchise or possibly fire their coach so he could fit in properly?

    Dwight could have been the future of one of the greatest franchises in all of sports but the baby simply can’t handle of the scrutiny and limelight in the city of Angels.

    It’s whatever, he wasn’t Laker material anyways.

  • OfftheWall87

    D’Antoni isn’t capable of changing his system that much. And Kobe didn’t say a word to him in their meeting about letting him be the main option on offense. He now gets to do things his way and learn from McHale and Olaujuwon about improving. And he wouldn’t have any input on players to get once Kobe left had he decided to stay. Jim Buss isn’t listening to anyone about anything. Nothing wrong with going to a better place with better pieces and less attention. Not everyone is meant for LA and they don’t have to be.

  • OfftheWall87

    Their first mistake was hiring Mike Brown over Brian Shaw in 2011. It’s been downhill since then.

  • robb

    Fredo Corleone should go fishing that’s all I’m gonna say

  • ScrewT

    Maybe now the Rockets can get a SLAM cover.

  • fruizm

    Please tell me this is real!!

  • shockexchange

    The Lakers dropped the ball. They should have had Robert Horry give the presentation.

  • berkamore

    No, it’s not. But with computers these days, the only limit is your imagination………..(But this isn’t my work, just to be clear)

  • berkamore

    Gotta hand it to you, Shock. You called it a long time ago. Good job.

  • berkamore

    Oh boy……………..

  • KipSmithers

    Darn, I wanted him to choose Pikachu!

  • RunNGun

    Burning jerseys was so 2009.

  • shockexchange

    Touche’

  • Junior Taylor

    The West is going to be interesting next season (like it is every season). I expect it to look something like this (just a wild guess)…..

    1. OKC
    2. SA
    3. HOU (if Howard is 100% healthy)
    4. GS (if Bogut is close to 100% healthy)
    5. LAC
    6. MEM
    7. DEN
    8. NOP

  • Junior Taylor

    All that is missing is a white cross :)

  • Sergio

    Does Dwight really thinks he is going to have much more touches in Houston than in LA? Harden shoots as much as Kobe, and they have a lot of trigger happy guys.

    This guy is a clown. He simply did not want to have the responsibility for his actions. Thats why he ran away from Kobe and the Lakers. According to reports, in the meeting with LA guys ( Mitch, Kobe! Nash), he woudnt even look atbtheir eyes.

    Now, just clown around in Houston and be happy without the rings – you will never get one of those.

  • Junior Taylor

    Damn…robb, lighting up. Howard never wanted to be in LA in the first place. He wanted to go to Brooklyn with DWill. It’s better to be without an unhappy player like Howard was his entire time with the Lakers and better to have cap space in 2014 where the prospects are much brighter.

  • Junior Taylor

    Funny thing is the Lakers would have been in prime position to land LeBron in 2014 only if they would have hired Phil Jackson. Instead they hire D’Antoni and everything thing is downhill after that.

  • pposse

    hahahah couldnt help but laugh after hearing chris boussard get his moment on ESPN announcing Dwight’s decision!!

  • RunNGun

    Agreed except I would swap NOLA out and move MINNY up to 7 (if they resign AK maybe 6). It’s going to be ultra competitive for 6-8 in the West; should be even more exciting to watch this year and may even feature some upsets in the playoffs like what GSW did last season.

  • RunNGun

    Instead of burning that jersey, homeboy could have sent it to me. I would have paid for shipping. :)

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  • berkamore

    I’m on Twitter and man some of the Lakers’ fans reactions are just priceless. Those two pictures just killed me. ROFL.

  • Slick Ric

    Dwight made the right move, brighter future for Houston.

  • Sérgio

    Thats because he doesnt deserve to be the main option on offense on a team that has Kobe f@ckin Bryant and Pau Gasol.

  • OfftheWall87

    From high school to the NBA, the best way to win is inside out, not outside in. Unless you have Michael Jordan playing for you, you’re going to need to get the ball inside more often than not. When the Lakers gave Pau his touches, they won championships. Playing inside out got the Magic to the Finals with Dwight. It works.

  • Sérgio

    Yeah, maybe you’re right. But if the Lakers are thinking they can get Lebron in 2014, I’d suggest them to wake up. I really don’t think James is willing to change teams again after all the criticism he endured in 2011. And he and Kobe would not get along at all.They don’t like each other. It became pretty clear in the 2012 Olympics, when they were the only two that would not talk when they were side by side on the bench. Heck, I even had the impression that Bron would much rather pass the ball to KD or CP3 than to a sometimes open Kobe.

  • OfftheWall87

    Kobe and LeBron like each other. They’re not best friends, but there’s a lot of respect there. Always has been.

  • RayJr

    Still are.

  • OfftheWall87

    The best part of Harden’s game is getting to the rim. The best part of Kobe’s at this point is shooting jumpshots or fadeaways in the post. Two different styles. Their 3 point shooters will get better looks with Dwight.

    What he didn’t want was playing under D’Antoni and playing with an aging superstar who wasn’t going to be changing anything about how he plays when he returns from his injury. Or playing for a team who’s clear advantage every night is in the post with him and Gasol, but instead they run Kobe into the ground making him carry them offensively at 34 years of age. He didn’t run away. He’s a free agent. He chose the best situation for himself. He didn’t look them in their eyes most likely because they weren’t saying anything he really cared for.

    He did get to the Finals playing his way in Orlando even with the laughing and joking. He’s serious about winning. Now he’s put himself in the best position to do it.

  • 23

    NOH*

  • Dagger

    ESPN is now reporting that Dwight Howard has had a change of heart and is 50-50 between the Rockets and the Lakers. Unbelievable. But hilarious.

  • RayJr

    The Lakers fans including myself can thank Jim Buss for this. Buss wanted to stick it to Phil Jackson by not hiring him and has set the franchise back a few years by doing that. No Dwight in 2013 and possibly no Lebron in 2014. Jim has to go and Jeanie needs to take over to right the ship or it will continue sinking.

  • robb

    you’re kidding right

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Nahhhhh okc not #1, they are getting worse and worse…have NO bench scoring l,and Kendrick Perkins is still on that team…

    1. Houston
    2. spurs
    3. okc
    4. Clipps
    5. Warriors
    6. Mem
    7. Tossups
    8. tossups

    Dwight will make an immediate impact on wins. With his defense and rebounding, theyll win games right off the bat…

  • Roy Blumenfeld

    If Kobe can’t appease a simple-but-immature player like Dwight, why would you think he’d ever be able to coexist with Lebron? At this point, Lebron is better than Kobe but LA will always be Kobe’s city. That would not end well.

    Carmelo would be a better fit. He actually likes Kobe. If he uses his ETO it could happen.

  • Roy Blumenfeld

    Did you really just refer to yourself by your own username in third person? lol

  • robb

    OMFG you’re not kidding!!!

  • Roy Blumenfeld

    Agreed. Jim is slowly destroying everything his father did. He has been since he took over. He is desperate to do things his own way and to make a lot of money. Even if that means losing games.

  • Roy Blumenfeld

    He never announced anything. “Unnamed sources” strike again.

  • robb

    they could co-exist for sure

  • https://twitter.com/jasontichenor Mr. Wet

    latest report saying he’s changed his mind and it’s 50-50 he goes with the Lakers. Citing his back issues as a reason he might want the extra 30 mil.

    Who knows what we’ll wake up to tomorrow.

  • Conor

    You’re wrong.

  • Dula

    Didn’t you also say that he’s going back to Orlando?

  • Nathan Shane Long

    1.CLIPPERS RIVERS IMPACT WILL BE DRASTIC AND THEY HAVE THE DEEPEST BENCH IN THE WEST

    2.WARRIORS IGUODALA ARRIVAL PUTS THEM OVER THE TOP

    3.HOUSTON JAMES HARDEN BEST SG IN THE LEAGUE HOWARD AND PARSONS GREAT FRONTCOURT UNDERRATED BENCH

    4.MEMPHIS GRIT AND GRIND ALL HEART

    5.OKLAHOMA CITY DURANT&WESTBROOK BEST TWO MAN SHOW IN THE NBA BUT ZERO DEPTH ON THE ROSTER

    6.SAN ANTONIO

    7.DENVER

    8.MINNESOTA KEVIN LOVE FINALLY MAKE THE PLAYOFFS WITH RUBIO

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  • shockexchange

    He said he there were 5 reasons he would not sign with L.A. Quit trying to split hairs Dula.

  • Dula

    I could have sworn that you even gave reasons why he’ll come back to Orlando..

  • Parienve8137

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    The Lakers showed no desperation in keeping Dwight, if I were the
    Lakers I would have fired D’Antoni as soon as the season ended an hired
    Phil or Brian Shaw to coach and I’m pretty sure Dwight would have ran to
    the Lakers and signed that extension.

  • Sérgio

    As if Dwight hadnt gotten a lot of touches last year. Man, why do you think Kobe averaged a career high in assists? He was always looking to make Howard comfortable.

  • Sérgio

    Am I the only that thinks that maybe the Lakers will play angry this year and surprise everyone?

    http://instagram.com/p/baJkWqxNiO

    One last time, for old times sake.

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange said “he misses Orlando.” He never said definitively he would return there.

  • OfftheWall87

    It’s because he had the ball in his hands more, not because he was looking for his teammates more. They somehow tried to turn Nash into a spot up shooter with Kobe being the main scorer and playmaker. It was a mess of an offense.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You accompanied that with “Hello Brooklyn” – but keep up the “I told you so’s”

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    No, he continued to say Brooklyn.

  • Junior Taylor

    I agree with both of y’all. There is a mutual respect between both guys and I think LeBron would be more than willing to play with an aging Kobe that has proven to be one of the most tough-mined players in League history. LeBron is unselfish enough and Kobe will be willing to relinquish control of the team to someone like LeBron over the last few years of his career. Gasol’s $19 million is coming off the books after this season, so……

  • LP @ThisisEther

    you’re right, I’m taking the clips up and knocking the grizz down…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK!!!?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    nvm it’s official, from the horse’s mouth:

    http://www.nba.com/2013/news/07/05/howard-to-sign-with-rockets/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpts

    Scared the sh!t out of me, dude!

  • roscoe

    MEM and DEN are going to have issues…

    and holy ____ did you put NO at 8? you must be a fantasy sport guy…

  • roscoe

    correction… the immediate future in HOU is brighter, but long term its HOU.

  • spit hot fiyah

    That is his thing and we are all annoyed

  • OfftheWall87

    I don’t think LeBron wants any part of LA. If he decides to leave Miami, I can see him either in Chicago if they’ve gotten rid of Boozer and Deng by then or New York if they’ve gotten rid of Melo and Amar’e.

  • OfftheWall87

    What we really need to talk about is him being too old to wear the jersey he’s wearing.

  • shockexchange

    Like the Shock Exchange’s grandma always said, “Throw a rock at a pack of dogs and one who gets hit is ‘gon holla.

  • smith stopped smith blocked

    jeremy lin and james harden will get more open shot opportunies.

  • shockexchange

    You love it. Admit fiyah.

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  • Caboose

    I do know Orlando was option #2 for you. After the Nyets.

  • Caboose

    If I had to predict right now

    1. Rockets (they’re not done with moves)
    2. Thunder
    3. Clippers
    4. Warriors
    5. Spurs
    6. Grizzlies
    7. Wolves
    8. Nuggets

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I was wrong about him staying in LA just like you were wrong about him going to Brooklyn. Nobody got hit with any stone, just find it pathetic when a person who claims to be a man only reminds people about the aspects of what he said that were right. Getting half of a truth is great, touché for seeing he wouldn’t stay in LA. Tsk tsk, it still says more about you that you left out the other part of your prediction.

  • shutup

    Prepare for a long season full of disappointment…….

  • Jj Sanchez

    if the rockets lost..dwight will be searching for another team again… sucker!!!

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