Dwight Howard Picks Rockets, Lakers Confirm Exit from L.A.
By Chris Greenberg
There will be no Hollywood sequel for Dwight Howard.
Following several days of meetings and a frantic series of reports on Friday, Howard has decided to join the Houston Rockets, as first reported by Sam Amick of USA Today Sports.
“I’ve decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets,” Howard said in a brief statement issued via his Twitter account. “I feel its 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.”
The 27-year-old center has been the most coveted member of the 2013 free agent class. His reported choice to join the Rockets means that he will play for his third team in as many seasons.
“We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement published at the team’s website. “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 efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.”
After playing the first eight seasons of his career with the Orlando Magic, who selected him with the first overall selection in the 2004 NBA Draft, Howard pressured and pouted his way to Los Angeles before the 2012-2013 season. Following his tumultuous first season with the Lakers, Howard made no secret about his interest in exploring free agency.