Dwight Howard hears Rockets pitch from Houston legends

Ronald Martinez

The Rockets used Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Yao Ming as part of their presentation to woo Dwight Howard.

The Houston Rockets pulled out all the stops at their meeting with Los Angeles Lakers free agent Dwight Howard as free agency began in the wee hours of Monday morning, using former Rockets greats to sell Howard on the organization's championship history, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Rockets have reportedly emerged as the frontrunners to land Howard, and the two parties met at the Hotel Bel-Air at the outset of free agency. In addition to Rockets owner Les Alexander, general manager Daryl Morey and coach Kevin McHale, the team also brought along former greats Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler to vouch for the franchise. Yao Ming was even involved in the presentation, as he checked into the meeting from China via Skype.

Current Rockets James Harden and Chandler Parsons also delivered their pitch, telling Howard that they would love to have him as a teammate and that they would immediately become championship contenders if he chose Houston.

The belief is that Howard's biggest priority in this free agent process is winning, and the Rockets did all they could to sell him on that. McHale also told Howard that he would build his system around him and that the team is searching for complementary players to properly surround the center.

Howard is set to meet with the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and of course, the Lakers in the coming days. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak did have a brief face-to-face meeting with Howard before the big man met with the Rockets, which was first reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.

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