NBA All-Star Dwight Howard last Friday decided to chase a championship, rather than chase the extra $30 million that the Los Angeles Lakers offered him for the next five years.
Howard has signed on to a four year deal worth $88 million with the Houston Rockets last week. Earlier today the Houston Rockets opened up their first press conference for their team’s newest addition in Howard.
“I’m just so happy to be here,” Howard said. “This is an unbelievable opportunity for myself, and this city, and this team.”
Howard explained he wanted to just go back to playing the sport he loved and do it with a smile on his face, as he did with the Orlando Magic and not so much with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I just want to get back to being that guy who was having fun and enjoying basketball, and at the same time dominating,” he said.
Howard has announced that despite the Houston Rockets young roster – and he at age 27 is the second oldest player on the team – the team’s main goal is to win a championship this season.
Howard reframed from making the prediction four-time NBA MVP and two-time reining NBA Champion LeBron James had made when he decided to sign with the Miami Heat summer of 2010. James had predicted the Miami Heat would win “not one, not two…not five, not six,” championships.
However, Howard did feel confident the Houston Rockets had the potential to win a championship at the end of this season. “If we really dedicate ourselves and sacrifice everything we got… for a championship, then at the end of the season we should be holding up the trophy,” he said.
After Howard’s decision to sign with the Houston Rockets last week, former teammate, Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant posted a photo on his Instagram account responding to Howard’s decision. The picture was a photo of Bryant alongside teammate Pau Gasol.
It’s safe to say Bryant feels Howard is no longer in the picture and he feels his teammate Gasol is the only big man the Lakers need. After all the two, Bryant and Gasol, have won two championships with the help of former head coach Phil Jackson, who has won more NBA Championships than any other coach in NBA history. However, neither Jackson nor a Championship trophy was in that frame.