Dwight Watch 2013: Is Today D-Day for Dwight Howard?
The Rockets have set their roster for this year's summer league games -- minus one Royce White, #BeWell -- and now they wait on the biggest move of their offseason. According to reports, Dwight Howard is taking it easy in Aspen, Colorado, and may be targeting today to make his decision about what team he will join. A flurry of other activities have been going on since free agency opened Sunday, but the big story is the ultimate landing spot for big man Howard.
He has met with the Rockets, Atlanta, Golden State, Dallas and L.A. The Rockets are still the favorite -- Hakeem Olajuwon went so far as to say there was an 85 percent chance Howard would choose Houston -- but L.A. is a close second and Golden State has emerged as a dark horse, though the Warriors would need to do a sign-and-trade, something the Lakers have been loathe to consider.
Kobe Bryant reportedly told Howard during their meeting that he would teach the free agent center how to be a champion. Uh, okay, that's not condescending or anything. Meanwhile, the Dwight Howard "Stay" billboards that have been up around the Los Angeles area have begun coming down in anticipation of his move, or perhaps in resignation.
Whatever the case, it appears likely that Dwight Watch 2013 will soon come to an end, but not before virtually every restaurant, rapper and politician pledges food, good times and economic opportunity for Howard. Slim Thug attempted to entice Howard with reasonably priced cribs and strippers. Restaurants like the Kolache Factory and Papa John's Pizza went after his stomach. Even Mayor Annise Parker tweeted to Howard.
— Annise Parker (@anniseparker) July 2, 2013
Everyone wants in, it would seem, on Howard's decision.
No one knows for sure what the enigmatic big man will do. Houston is the clear choice if he does truly value championships above all else. It's one of the first times in recent memory the Rockets have been positioned so perfectly for a free agent target like Howard with young talent, cap space and an ideal coach. It would be a terrible disappointment to lose.
But L.A. can offer the glitz of Hollywood and the promise of helping to further Howard's acting "career." Plus, they still have Bryant, even if he is coming off a serious injury.
Who knows what he will do? The only good news is we should know sooner rather than later.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.