Rockets announce Dwight Howard's arrival with celebration

Bob Levey

The Rockets presented Dwight Howard to the world Saturday with a hopeful, celebratory tone.

The Houston Rockets held their first press conference with Dwight Howard on Saturday afternoon, during which the franchise's next great big man discussed a variety of topics ranging from his championship aspirations in Houston to his desire for happiness beyond the court.

With pomp and circumstance, Howard's first public appearance as a Rocket gave some indication of things to come. The organization went to great lengths making sure it reflected the importance of the moment, looking to tout his addition as the next chapter in a tradition of towering greatness.

If Howard showed anything over the past two years, he likes being appreciated and attention doesn't merely stumble his way. He's a great basketball player, but his interests range far beyond the court. That became clear as Howard discussed how thrilled he was to be playing in Houston.

"I made this decision for me. I want to be happy. If you can't be happy when you're playing, it's not fun. I want to get back to being that guy who was playing and having fun but at the same time dominating," Howard said.

The Rockets seem utterly determined to keep Dwight as happy as possible. From a video showing Howard among the other Rockets greats to appearances from Yao Ming, Ralph Sampson, Moses Malone and Elvin Hayes, this was more of a celebration of his arrival than an announcement of it.

Still, even if Dwight doesn't want the joking around to end, he insists the Rockets will have some very serious goals next season. "If we dedicate ourselves and sacrifice everything we've got for a championship, at the end of the season we should be holding up a trophy," he said.

Joining a roster featuring James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin and a host of role players, Howard may be right. But taking down the Heat, Thunder, Spurs, Pacers, Clippers, etc. will definitely require him to follow through on the first part of that quote.

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