Dwight Howard Leaves Lakers, Joins Houston Rockets
Dwight Howard announced that he’d be replacing his Los Angeles Lakers jersey with a Houston Rockets jersey on Friday, shocking the West Coast franchise and delighting the southern NBA team and their fans with his decision.
“I've decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets,” Howard tweeted. “I feel its [sic] the best place for me and I am excited about joining the Rockets and I'm looking forward to a great season. I want to thank the fans in Los Angeles and wish them the best."
Rocket’s general manager Daryl Morey believes that Houston is the right place for Howard, who’s known for his easy going demeanor and sense of humor. “We’re going to get a smile back on his face that hasn’t been on it for a couple of years because of various things, injury and maybe the team situation he was in at the time,” he told Comcast SportsNet Houston. He’s going to have a smile back on his face.”
Morey added on Twitter, “Welcome to Houston @DwightHoward!!! Years of work by Dwight & Rockets went into this. This team is going to be special.”
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak released a statement after learning of Howard’s decision to leave his franchise in favor of the Rockets. “We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers,” Kupchak said. “Naturally we’re disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great Lakers fans will be proud to support.
“To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his effort with us last season. We wish him the bet of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.”
With the Lakers last year, Dwight averaged 17.1 points and 12.5 rebounds – strong statisitcs that paled in comparison to what he had accomplished with the Orlando Magic. An unhealed injury and a tense relationship with the head coach kept Howard from ever fulling syncing with the Hollywood team. In order to pursue what he believes is a shot at winning the NBA championship, Howard will be taking a $30 million loss in salary when he signs with the Rockets on Wednesday, reported Yahoo Sports. His contract with the Houston franchise is expected to be for four years and worth about $88 million.