Howard Made His Decision With A Smile!

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The smile looked genuine.

For the first time in nearly two years, Dwight Howard‘s smile looked like the real thing and not the forced teeth sucking he’s had to do with people and cameras in his face from Orlando to Los Angeles and all parts in between.

If it’s the new environment, as Howard was officially introduced as a member of the Houston Rockets earlier today, so be it. But something tells me he’d have worn that same smile anywhere, so long as it wasn’t Los Angeles.

Much has been made of his unhappiness while wearing a Lakers uniform, while playing alongside Kobe Bryant and for Mike D’Antoni. There is no need to rehash it now, not on the day that Howard finally looked relieved enough to crack that mile-wide smile of his for real.

For all of the people who have felt the need to smash Howard for the way he’s handled things, everything from the way he waffled his way out of Orlando to his unease during his season with the Lakers to his stint as the most coveted free agent since LeBron James leading up to The Decision, he deserves this moment. And I say that after having taken plenty of shots at Howard and his process myself.

But if Houston is where is the heart is and playing alongside James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin, and for Kevin McHale, is what gets his juices flowing, then more power to him. NBA careers don’t last long enough for elite players to play under any extra stress.

Howard knows his championship clock is ticking after nine seasons in the league and just his one appearance in The Finals. He’s fully aware that his third stop has to produce some hardware or he’s in danger of wearing the label as a underachiever, something most of the great big men before him shed at one time or another during their playing days.

He’ll have all the resources you could ask for in Houston. General Manager Daryl Morey is an innovator and fearless. He’ll do whatever it takes to make sure Howard’s current surroundings are conducive to winning at the highest level. McHale has championship experience that should prove to be invaluable for a post player trying to refine his game and continue to hone his craft at this stage of his career. Harden is a budding star who will take on the late-game, big-shot pressure that Howard has struggled with throughout his career. And Parsons and Lin lead a supporting cast willing to do whatever is needed to make sure the Rockets’ biggest stars have a drama-free work environment.

It’s up to Howard now. He can’t blame his franchise, the front office, coach, teammates or anyone else for his shortcomings on the floor. The Rockets made a commitment to him that he must now reciprocate in the form of turning back the clock and playing the dominant force he was as recently as three years ago.

I know it seems like an eternity to some of you, but the man averaged 23 points, 14 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as recently as three years ago. We’re not talking about some fading star who’s seen his best days. Howard is just 27 and he’s only begun what should be the prime of his career.

He’s smiling because he knows that, because he realizes that this “fresh start” he’s getting in Houston could serve as the spark he needs to shake off the past two years and return to his rightful place as the best and most dominant big man in the league, not only in the eyes of a few, but in the eyes of everyone.

No words will convince the masses, though. Only actions will suffice.

That smile, the genuine one, is a start.

But it’s only the beginning.

The heavy lifting is on the way.


43 Comments

  1. 2e says:

    I have found that you have not posted my comment regarding Howard’s fake smile. My comment did not have any words that conflict with the policy you have stated. It only disputes what you published in your article. I am ashamed that you have used an NBA posting to act like a writer located in Syria or under North Korea’s dictator. As a frustrated Laker who has wasted thousands of dollars to go watch Howar’d lousy performance, I have the right to express my opinion in the free country of the United States. If I do not get a response from you, I will take the matter further to the NBA to let them know the filtering policy you have put in place.

  2. LA-Supporter@Manila says:

    Houston will surely win the title…………… if they play in D-League……. LA should not have traded Bynum… Now they can’t get him back.. I pity Houston… They think that he will stay there for good…

  3. kevin says:

    you will never be a champion.

  4. Leo says:

    Howard will never win a Championship. He is to selfish and self centered. He will be a problem wherever he goes.

  5. Realist2013 says:

    Howard will be fine, The Rockets will be fine and comparing them to GSW, Clippers and OKC. Those teams arent champs yet either at least not proven. Okc has offensive holes and rebounding issues, The Clippers have no post game just lobs which is why memphis exploited their weakness. Golden State is young too they gave up Landry, Bogot was considering retirement with his chain of injurues, and their bench needs work preferably some bigs. Igudala can attack at least. I think Howard saw the Rockets as a team he can grow with and combined with his inside offensive and defensive presence they are more of a complete team that can do everything. All the other options were to wait and see what happens next summer then try to build which is a waste. If Asik gets traded which McHale doesnt want they can get a high value player for him so I can see why Dwight is smiling.

  6. kd0t says:

    An article about a dude’s smile. Offseason problems

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  8. Jimmy Buckets says:

    drama queen

  9. marty says:

    No pressure on DH unless you buy into this garbage from the media..HIS TEAM HAS PRESSURE TO SUCCEED!!

  10. Sunny says:

    Howard likes to be a big fish in a small pond. James Harden is not even in his prime and is a NBA top 20 player while Dwight will steadily decline. There is going to be a lot of resentment as this becomes Hardens team.

  11. lee says:

    howard is one of my favorite players and i wanted him to go to housten but i still dont see them winning a title right away the still need to add players around him like ryan anderson would be a good pick up the dont need asik is should be a done deal already but there trying to hold asik to get as much for him as possible novak can play the 3 and 4 and would be a great sixth man for this team the also need a veteran pg to teach lin how to play the posistion i was hoping the would grab billups but hes already gone the dont have many optons left there the do have peaces to trade and trade exceptions so id like to see them bring in the right guys ryan andersoand steve novak are who i think the should go after it would open lanes spread the floor and the need that with howard in the middle especially since harden and lin and parsons like to drive those 2 additions would open up this offense another guy the shouldve tryed to sign was jarret jack i wouldve rather had billups but he wouldve been good i havent looked at the market to see what pgs are still out there but the need a guy who is a veteran but can still play some

  12. B Radd says:

    Brandon Jenning in a sign and trade for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik! ASAP!

  13. Allan says:

    It is always a “fresh start” for Howard every year because he changes team on a yearly basis. He is always “excited” to be on a new team…. he said he was excited when he joined the Lakers too.

    Let’s see how many weeks on the Rockets before his whinging starts again

  14. Chicago! says:

    Why do the readers talk about the writer and not the subject of the article that was read?

  15. Roy says:

    Houston will be competing for a 3rd-5th seed this season. With picking up the best big man in the league and giving Harden more space to operate + all the young guys all going to improve. They also will have MUCH better defence than they did last year obviously.

    West: OKC, LA Clippers, GSW, Rockets, Spurs, Grizz, who knows the rest really lol.

  16. Gian Carlo says:

    I can’t recall when was the last time I had been so ecstatic with the anticipation of NBA season to start.
    Since Olajuwon and Drexler tandem, this new recruits made by Houston is phenomenal.Rocket nation believes that this nucleus will bring back Houston glory.

  17. W/E says:

    Cowards smile is FAKE. and get real, Lin and harden are so unreliable controlling the ball and making plays, Rockets can go second round at most, ppl talking about Rockets reaching finals is a joke lol.

  18. flea says:

    Howasrd smiles like stupid.

    Fake.

  19. J says:

    they’ll be great

  20. nbafan says:

    Looking forward to watching Rockets and Thunder in particular this yr.

  21. German says:

    Could you possibly write one article without coming up with “the decision” please? i´m not a Lebron fan but i can´t stand it anymore. We all know it wasn´t good but please, just leave it.
    Howards way of handling has nothing to do with the decision, so why bring it up anyways.

    • Jojo Lecitona says:

      Yiu’re right man. These media people live to refer almost any article to the decision of lbj simply because they sensationalized it for their own benefit.

  22. Kimmy says:

    Let the games begin! I say he will step up to the plate and then some. But Houston Rockets won’t make the finals. Not this season anyway. Not because I don’t wan’t them to, but because the West is so competitive and several teams have actually stepped up their game who were already better than Houston. But I’m just one person. We shall see. I am looking forwatd to watching the “new” Dwight and so is everyone else.

    • laker nation says:

      dwight howard is not loyal, in his contract it says”in the third season i can leave” even thought its a four year contract. he is also a floozy in a way. trying to go from team to team just like a floozy would with men

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      GSW, Clippers, San Antonio, and OKC are all still better than Houston. & that’s JUST the western conference.

    • william says:

      Your just mad he left los angeles hahahha. Rockets can win the title

  23. theholyspectator says:

    rockets vs lakers will be a very interesting game to watch

    • Jojo Lecitona says:

      I’ll bet you akl my money in my wallet. I’ll go for houston anytime any game even if lakers have 2 bryants. Man lakers are done. The kings will be better than lakers

  24. Filipino Idiot says:

    Howard likes to change colors, from Orlando blue to LA purple gold now H town red. He still has many more colors to choose after 4 years, Boston green Brooklyn Black Phoenix orange. Lets go D12, make sure you get all the colors before you retire LOL

    • harry says:

      Howard’s smiling because he finally is free from kobe’s holier than thou attitude. Howard blamed D’Antoni because he was scared to come straight and say “I don’t wanna play with this dude, he’s a jerk”… I will enjoy watching kobe’s career dwindle away before his eyes. An amazing basketball player yes, but an egotistical condescending *#!^& as well.

    • ASDF says:

      the difference is he was traded to LA, he chose houston.

  25. steppx says:

    just ask him for a date sekou.