It’s official, Dwight Howard is a Houston Rocket!

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The All-Star center told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Friday night that he will leave the Los Angeles Lakers and sign a free-agent contract with the Houston Rockets after the league lifts its annual moratorium on player business Wednesday.  He feels that the Rockets afford him the best opportunity at a championship.

“[A championship is] the priority. That’s the priority. [Shoot], I’m betting $30 million on it,”

Howard told ESPNLosAngeles.com in a phone interview Friday night, referencing the amount of money he likely will leave on the table by bolting Los Angeles for Houston.

“I just looked at both teams and I felt like Houston was going in one direction — they got a lot of young players, they got a good coach in Kevin McHale and I just felt like having him as a coach, he could really help me in the post and help me develop like I want to. That was mainly the big reason right there, and having the opportunity to grow with a team, a young team, like the Rockets. That’s the reason why [I decided to leave].”

“It was tough,”

Howard said of leaving Los Angeles.

“I enjoyed, for the most part, living here in L.A. I just really think the timing in L.A., it wasn’t right for me. Maybe two years ago, or 2-3 years from now, it would have been the right time. But I just think right now the timing was off for me. That’s not saying that L.A. is a bad place, but I just think it’s all about timing and fit when you’re talking about basketball. You can put anybody together on the court and expect them to win, but the pieces have to really fit in order for a team to be successful and it was very, very tough, man. It’s probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life.”

“… This is an opportunity for me to write my own story,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for me to move forward, to change the perception of what other people have tried to make of me. It starts on the court with winning and that’s what I’m doing. This is a fresh start for me. It’s a clean slate. I get the opportunity to start from scratch and I’m going to make the most of it. I’ve been working all summer already to get my body, to get myself back right and getting ready for the next couple of years. I’m just looking forward to it.”

Magic Johnson took to twitter via Bill Simmons’ account:

 

 

Speaking of social media, Kobe Bryant has reportedly already unfollowed Howard on twitter since the announcement and he posted the following picture of himself and Pau Gasol on Instagram.  Next year should be quite interesting.

kobe-gasol

Well, that’s all folks!

Just remember who predicted it earlier in the week.  Me, of course, CinnamonStiXXX.

What do you guys think about Dwight Howard’s decision?

Leave your comments below.

Photo credit:  Instagram

Source: ESPN LA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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