In L.A., Dwight Howard was a 7-foot-tall constellation in a city of stars and supernovas. His shine dimmed as the Lakers season tumbled downhill, while the fans soured on him. More importantly, he was just another cog in a Lakers machine he never wanted a part of. Houston is his opportunity to forge his own unique path. At his introductory press conference in Houston, Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander called Howard, "the biggest free agent acquisition in franchise history".
It's easy to see why Howard ditched the Lakers for Houston. That's loftier praise than he ever received in Tinseltown. Alexander's reputation trumps Jim Buss' in NBA circles by a long shot and Daryl Morey is the leader of the NBA analytics movement in front offices. Howard was all smilesSaturday, just as he was when he was introduced as a Laker last July. However, the Rockets presentation was a little more reverent towards Howard.
The Rockets went all out to introduce Howard, dubbing him “Rocketman” instead of “Superman” and playing a video montage — shown below — to put his signing in perspective.
“The future of the NBA resides in H-Town,” the video’s narrator declares. “As older teams fade, the Rockets will rise. A new age has begun.”
The video includes highlights of Rockets past and present, hyping Alexander, GM Daryl Morey, coach Kevin McHale and a roster that includes Howard, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin.
“A winning owner voted best in the NBA who will stop at nothing to bring back another championship to this city,” the video continued. “An organization recognized globally. An innovative GM whose use of analytics has changed the NBA. A coach with championship pedigree. And an arsenal of young players primed for a title run. Then and now, one thing remains the same, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”