Dwight Watch 2013: Kolache Factory Ups the Ante for Dwight Howard

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The road back to relevance for the Rockets has not been easy. In today's NBA, there are very few good answers to the question, "What do we need to do to put ourselves in position to win an NBA title?"

Say what you will about Dwight Howard. He's flawed, he's immature, he's offensively challenged, he's the best of the worst crop of centers in two decades, whatever.

He also happens to be one of the few good answers to the aforementioned question, in part because he's the best of this underwhelming crop of big men.

Even in a bad year last season for the Lakers, Dwight Howard still led the league in rebounding and averaged over 17 points a game.

This time last year, with Dwight Howard's Orlando career on life support, the Rockets were reportedly toying with the idea of functionally trading a huge chunk of their whole team to the Magic for the chance at a one-year sales pitch to a disgruntled Dwight and a slew of bad contracts.

Thankfully, that never materialized.

Because if it had, the only thing the Rockets would have to differentiate themselves in free agency this summer would be Dwight's "Bird rights," which means they could offer a fifth year of guaranteed salary (that he's going to get eventually anyway from somebody down the road). Also, no state income tax. Oh, did I mention Dwight wanted nothing to do with Houston this time last year, also? The way he treated Houston last offseason, you'd have thought we outlawed farting, which just so happens to be one of Dwight's favorite hobbies.

Instead, fast-forward to this offseason, which began in earnest at 11:01 p.m. local time on Sunday night.

Now, James Harden is a Rocket, Chandler Parsons texts with Dwight regularly, and the first team to get a crack at impressing Dwight Howard (and the consensus pole sitter, right now) is your Houston Rockets.

My, how things can change in a year's time.

But if we are going to pull this off, if we are going to get Dwight Howard to move here and be a part of Red Nation, it's going to take a collaborative effort. Four million of us pulling in one direction, doing what we all do best.

Daryl Morey knows this. He is on roster detail.

Morey is the one responsible for stealing Harden from Oklahoma City, signing Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin (flippable assets who will likely be traded for another Howard-friendly piece like Josh Smith), and clearing out enough cap space to make the meeting in Los Angeles on Sunday night possible.

Slim Thug knows this. He is on stripper, hooker and baby momma detail.

Check out his tweets to Dwight on Tuesday afternoon:

They seem like nice girls. And Slim Thug is right -- child support percentages are "wayyyy worst (sic)" in LA. And finally, I know this. For I am on food detail.

Over the weekend, Dallas-based chicken finger outlet Raising Cane's made this offer to Dwight:

Now, I can tolerate a lot of stuff, but another city, especially a chach haven like Dallas, thinking they can come in and compete for free agents using food as their weapon? This is tantamount to walking into Greg Oden's house and bragging about the size of your package.

Nobody eats more than Houston. Nobody loves food more than Houston. Nobody knows better how to properly deploy food than Houston.


So I took it upon myself to call upon the food community in Houston to step up and trump Raising Cane's. We conducted a brief Dwight-a-thon on my radio show Tuesday, and the food community came up big.

The unquestioned leader of the charge was the Kolache Factory.

Their retail marketing director, Andrew Eller, called my radio show and made Dwight an offer that he shouldn't refuse: a lifetime of free kolaches. Take that, chicken fingers! On top of that, Eller gave Houstonians some skin in the game, offering up a free kolache to all Houstonians on July 15 if Dwight signs with the Rockets!

One Houston institution (Kolache Factory) helping another (your Rockets). Beautiful.

Along the way, on my show, Dwight was offered everything from free barbecue (Beef & Bun BBQ) to free calzones (Nick's Place) to free burgers (Hubcap Grill) to free pest control (McGrath Pest Control).

So Dallas, we see your chicken fingers, and raise you a mountain of kolaches, barbecue sandwiches and calzones.

For we are Houston, and we are #FoodStrong.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.

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