Dwight Howard Looks Forward to Fresh Start With the Houston Rockets

by July 15, 2013

The Houston Rockets held a rally on Saturday to officially welcome their new superstar center, Dwight Howard. Rockets fans are certainly excited — season tickets sales spiked sharply after the free agent big man chose H-Town — and Howard is ready to work with his new teammates (and help retain those who aren’t so thrilled about their changing roles). Above all, Dwight says he’s excited about a chance to re-write his legacy. Per the AP: “‘He’s not Superman anymore. He’s Rocket Man now,’ longtime Rockets broadcaster Bill Worrell said Saturday as he introduced the team’s major free agent acquisition. As Howard took the stage and greeted several Houston officials including owner Leslie Alexander and coach Kevin McHale, a couple of his new teammates playfully repeated his new moniker — `Rocket Man, Rocket Man’ — and were met with a huge, toothy smile from Howard. ‘It means a lot to me just to have a fresh start and have an opportunity to write my own story,’ Howard said. ‘I don’t think people understood the fact that I got traded to L.A., and now I had a chance to really choose my own destiny, and this is the place where I chose and I’m happy about it.’ The Rockets gave him a four-year deal worth about $88 million, a year less and far below the $118 million the Lakers could have offered. […] General manager Daryl Morey, who led the effort to land Howard, is excited about upgrading his team and knows this puts the Rockets among the preseason favorites to contend for a championship. ‘I think it absolutely gives us a chance,’ he said. ‘What you do this job for is to have a chance. The reality is five to seven teams have a chance any given year. The way it is in this league, you’ve got to have multiple All-Stars, you generally have to have dominant top players and we have two guys that we think are in the top 10 in the league in James and Dwight.’ […] Howard is perfectly happy dealing with lofty expectations from outsiders because he believes he should control the game every time he sets foot on the court. ‘That’s what I’ve always expected out of myself,’ he said. ‘Before I got injured, that’s what I did every night – I dominated the game on both ends of the floor. It’s not about putting up big numbers, none of that; the biggest thing is just going out there and having fun and dominating and that’s what I’m going to do.'”