The biggest story of the NBA offseason, Dwight Howard spurning the Los Angeles Lakers to sign with the Houston Rockets, will play itself out on the court four times, starting Thursday, Nov. 7 in Houston.
At 9:30 p.m. ET in the Toyota Center, the Lakers visit the Rockets on TNT. If Kobe Bryant is progressing from his ruptured Achilles like he says he is, he might play that night. If not, the next game the two teams will square off will also be in Houston, Jan. 8. It's hard to imagine Bryant not coming back by then, so that could be his first time facing Howard.
Of course, those two games will pale in comparison to what will transpire Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET, when Howard and the Rockets grace the Staples Center for the first time in the season. No matter how bad the Lakers may be, the arena will be sold out and the boos that rain down on Howard during team introductions figure to be nothing less than earsplitting. That game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Finally, the last regular season game between the two teams is also in Staples Center right before the end of the season, Tuesday, April 8, also at 10:30 p.m. ET.