Sam Amick (USA) seems to have a great relationship with the Houston Rockets management, or at least with Dwight Howard. Amick spoke to the GM Daryl Morey, CEO Tad Brown, and C Dwight Howard about this upcoming summer. Let’s take a look what they all had to say.
Amick starts by confirming the rather obvious:
He’s hoping to get some help when free agency begins July 1 and some of the biggest names in the game – from LeBron James to Carmelo Anthony and right on down the line – are pitched on the proposition of joining Howard and James Harden in Houston. The organization’s recruiting efforts will be aggressive and expansive as always, just as they were when they landed Howard last July and his decision to leave Los Angeles meant the Rockets had two-thirds of the Big Three that they had envisioned.
Of course the Rockets would love to add the best player in the NBA, but they may have to “settle” for a consolation prize of Carmelo Anthony. Bummer.
He then mentions the five biggest selling points for the Rockets;
- Stability – Just four coaches since 1993, two GM’s since 1996.
- Success – Two championships in 1994 and 1995, and 17 winning seasons in the last 21 seasons since Alexander has owned the team. From CEO Tad Brown: “When you play for the Rockets, you always are given every resource possible to be able to win. And that’s coming directly from Leslie.”
- Urgency to win – Daryl Morey has been known as an aggressive GM, always trying to make his team better.
- China connection – The Rockets have a huge China connection, and everyone is aware it can boost their personal brand.
- Cold hard cash – No state income tax.
But the Rockets themselves will admit that even those five points sometimes aren’t always enough.
“Dwight choosing here sort of represents the sea change in Houston, sort of proving that we’re a Tier One destination for free agents,” Morey said. “And obviously, we’re going out there again and saying let’s get one of these top guys again…I’d say the reasons he chose Houston are going to stay going forward.”
Will Dwight Howard help with the process? (Though the rest of the media says he will,) Dwight says he won’t bother the free agents.
Howard doesn’t plan on recruiting James, Anthony, or any other soon-to-be free agent personally, instead choosing to respect their personal process while they decide their respective next steps. In those days before he chose Houston, he was so overwhelmed by the endless opinions and chaos around him that he boarded a plane for Aspen, Colorado just to clear his mind.
“A great man once told me that this is my plane, I fly it where I want to fly it, I’ll land it where I want to land it. I built it, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. If I want people on that plane, I’ll put them on there. If not, this is my plane. For ‘Melo and all of these other free agents, this is their plane. This is their time to fly wherever they want to fly. They can’t let anybody or anything get in the way of doing what’s best for them.”
So, NO. When you read reports from ESPN and other national outlets, it is not true. Dwight Howard is NOT trying to lure free agents to Houston. He went through the process himself last offseason and doesn’t want to add any pressure to the free agents.
Does Howard want them in Houston? Yes. Will he actively push LeBron, Carmelo, or any other free agent? No, no matter what ESPN or others will tell you.
Amick’s piece is another reason Rockets fans should be excited for this offseason. The first domino will fall when Anthony officially decides whether or not to opt out on June 23rd. Afterwards, James will have to decide if he wants to stick with the Miami Heat for this season, or opt out early and test the market.
If James opts out, the whole summer changes with many teams gearing up to sway the All-Star into joining their squad.
It seems likely the Rockets will add someone. We just don’t know who.
Click here to read the rest of Amick’s article.