Kevin McHale Expects Dwight Howard to Be the NBA’s Most Dominant Center

by July 08, 2013

The Hollywood lights may have been a tad too hot and bright for Dwight Howard, but expectations won’t necessarily be diminished now that he’s in Houston. Rockets head coach Kevin McHale — whom Dwight is very excited to work and learn fromexpects nothing short of pure dominance from the NBA’s premier center. Per the Orlando Sentinel and LA Times: “You’re always evolving and changing, and I think Dwight’s in the process of evolving and changing,’ McHale told reporters Sunday. ‘He says he’s way healthier now than he has been. His back feels better. I just anticipate him coming in and doing what he did for years: being the best, most dominant center in the league.’McHale said he ‘had a pretty good feeling’ that Howard would choose the Rockets over a list of suitors that consisted of the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks. […] Howard, 27, picked the Rockets in part to play for Coach Kevin McHale and team consultant Hakeem Olajuwon, two Hall of Fame players known for their moves down low. ‘[Houston] was the best fit for me basketball-wise,’ Howard said. ‘And no offense to [Lakers Coach] Mike D’Antoni, but we’re talking about Kevin McHale, who had a million moves in the post.’ Howard declined a five-year, $118-million contract offer from the Lakers to accept a four-year, $88-million deal with the Rockets, his third team in an 11-month period. ‘Walt Disney said, ‘Big risks, big rewards,’ Howard said. ‘He put everything he had into ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ and the sky was the limit. Now there’s Disneyland and Disney World. It’s a big sacrifice leaving $30 million. Really, really a big sacrifice. But I want to win a championship and I want to get back to being the person who I am and have some fun and enjoy playing basketball. And I think that’s what I’ll find in Houston.’ Texas has more favorable taxes on income than California, bridging the gap somewhat between the contracts offered by the Lakers and Rockets. Howard declined to discuss whether he was dismayed by the Lakers’ aging roster or by any lingering uncertainty in their front office after the death of longtime owner Jerry Buss in February. ‘I’m not going to sit here and throw rocks and jabs at the Lakers,’ he said. ‘It didn’t end the way we wanted but I was able to develop a much thicker skin. I’m looking forward now to being the veteran in Houston.'”