He's not Superman anymore, he's rocket man.
Dwight Howard sat alongside Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale Saturday afternoon (July 13) in a neatly tailored grey suit with a scarlet tie, grinning at times, serious at others. It was a fitting, yet comical introduction for the former Los Angeles Laker's new beginning with the Rockets.
"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."
Howard signed a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets, ending a bidding war between the three teams. The NBA center has been pursued by the Rockets, Lakers and Mavericks.
Dwight's inability to gel with members of the Lakers last season caused analysts to question his toughness and motivation. During his roller coaster season in LA, Dwight averaged 17 points per game and more than 12 rebounds -- enough to send the former No. 1 overall pick to his seventh consecutive All-Star Game.
Howard's new team reached the playoffs last season for the first time in four years, behind the tenacity of new addition James Harden. Howard will be asked to immediately become one of the key components of the team, anchoring a front court that consists of Omer Asik and Thomas Robinson.
"I just had a good feeling in my soul," Howard told press of his decision to join the Rockets. "The direction of the team ... I had a great feeling about what they were trying to accomplish."
Are the Rockets a legitimate contender to make the NBA finals? Perhaps, but more importantly, the "Dwight-mare" is over and Howard will begin to chase Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon's success.