Posted July 01, 2013

Report: Dwight Howard asked Houston Rockets to add third max contract

NBA
Dwight Howard met with the Houston Rockets at the beginning of free agency. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Dwight Howard met with the Houston Rockets at the beginning of free agency. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets wasted little time in the NBA’s free agency period to attempt to lure Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard to Houston on Monday. A Rockets contingent led by GM Daryl Morey, head coach Kevin McHale, guard James Harden and forward Chandler Parsons met with Howard at the Bel-Air hotel in Los Angeles for more than two hours early Monday morning.

According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, Howard asked Morey if he would be able to offer another player a max-contract deal in addition to the contracts of Harden and Howard if he were to sign. After acquiring Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Rockets signed Harden to a five-year, max-contract deal worth $80 million.

Rockets head coach Kevin McHale fielded concerns on how Howard would fit within a “retooled” Houston offense along with the team’s potential to win with Howard as its center. Howard’s main focus during his meeting with the Rockets was about the potential to win championships in Houston. Parsons said the meeting with Howard “went well” and Parsons thinks the Rockets are a “great” fit.

SI WIRE: Report: Kobe Bryant plans to be part of Lakers’ presentation to Howard

In an attempt to sign Howard to a max contract, the Rockets traded forward Thomas Robinson to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for two second-round picks and the rights to Kostas Papanikolau and Marko Todorovic. According to the report from the Houston Chronicle, Howard will not make a rushed decision during his free-agency period.

Howard is set to meet with the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors on Monday and the Dallas Mavericks and Lakers on Tuesday.

SI WIRE: Chris Paul, Clippers agree to terms for 5-year contract


92 comments
BenGhazi
BenGhazi


From what I read, Shaq will stab you in the chest  but Howard will stab you in the back. Big difference!

Tried to get the coach fired in Orlando and lied about it. Now he wants to run the show in Houston. Gawd!

MischaStuhlerSafdie'
MischaStuhlerSafdie'

I am in L.A.....a long time Laker fan.  But I grew up in Texas and was a fan of the Rockets when I lived there.  Honestly, here in L.A. MOST FANS could care less of Dwight comes back and resigns with the Lakers.  The team administrators want him back but there is a lot of debate in this town as to why.  The dude is a liability at the end of games because he cannot make his free throws and opponents are just waiting to foul him.  He cost the Lakers many games that were close at then end because he could not convert free throws in a crunch.  He came off injury to his back and I am not even sure why the Lakers would sign someone in that condition......and it showed.  He is a nice guy....no doubt.  But Shaquille was interviewed here and expressed true concern that the problem with Dwight is that he has no mean streak when he plays the game.  he said opponents respect him but do not fear him and that is why no one double-teams him.  I agree.  We saw that here.  Opponents just mug him in the paint and he does nothing to fight back, push back or put anyone on their butts...he plays too nice.  I do not think losing him would be a great loss here.  Also he really does not understand team concept. Kobe had to learn it but at least he has 5 rings to show.  Dwight want to be THE GUY right now and while he does have some talent, I have never seen him demonstrate any ability to lead a team.  He had that chance when Kobe and the most of our team was injurred at the end of the season and did absolutely nothing.  I wish Houston the best if they get him, but I am bot sure Dwight will help them.  His demand to have the ball all the time is going to render Harden and their other players less effective and slow down their offense.  I so no future for him in Dallas.  Here in 2014 the team will have the money for a complete new roster of star players and he could be one......but if he does not sign I am sure the Lakers will be fine.  Honestly, there are very few good big men in the NBA now and so Dwight may well be the best one out there....or one of them anyway.  I am not even sure he is the best.  10 or 20 years ago Dwight would not even have cracked the top 10.  So to Houston and all the rest who want to pay this guy way more than he is worth...and that includes the Lakers here in L.A., I would just say, "Be careful what you wish for.".

M20
M20

This would be pretty stupid of Dwight. There's no reason to add a third max contract just for the sake of having a 3rd max contract. One of the reasons the Rockets are so well positioned to win is because they're not overburdened by big contracts. They have flexibility, and Morey knows how to build a team without overpaying.

BillHibbler
BillHibbler

Daryl Morey denied that Howard asked for a third star to be added to the team. 

Timothy14
Timothy14

How sad of a state is the NBA in when Howard can basically dictate the Rockets' offseason moves merely based on the implication that he might come play there. I would call that a red flag if ever there was one.

sbrown823
sbrown823

To all the people who responded negatively to my previous post, chill out.  To the people who emailed me and recognized that it was tongue in cheek satire, good for you.

To clarify, let me reiterate in plainer language.  Dwight is acting like an immature baby, and he's not the only one in the NBA right now.  It's very VERY hard to stack a team with three superstars and have enough money left over to provide a supporting cast of any quality.  The ONLY reason Miami was able to pull it off was because Lebron, Wade, and Bosh all signed for slightly less than max money so that the team could afford some other productive players.  Face it, three max contracts pretty much eats up all your cap space.


As another person stated, what good would having a third superstar do for Dwight?  He had three HOF'ers (Kobe, Nash, Pau) and a former all star (World Peace) along side of him in LA and couldn't get the job done.  Now, I think that was largely the fault of D'Antoni, who has a well known distaste of post play and wouldn't know defense if it hit him in the face, but it does show that putting elite players on the court doesn't guarantee championships if the coach doesn't know how to utilize the talent properly.  For all of his faults, SVG in Orlando knew how to maximize Dwight's abilities; he had a defense that rotated and closed out like gorillas, forcing the ball into the paint towards Dwight, who guarded the rim like a steel wall.  Dwight is also one of the few players in the league who has the athletic ability to show high on the pick and roll and still recover fast enough to protect the rim.  On offense, the ball went inside to Dwight and then out to an army of three point shooters, and opposing defenses sooner of later had to concede the paint to Dwight or give up three pointers to the Magic long range snipers.  (I was not downgrading Dwights' defensive abilities in my previous post, I was emphasizing how important they were.)

I did make a mistake in my previous post about Patterson; I overlooked that he had been traded to Sac.  I meant to include Terrance Jones as the starter, who should be able to contribute 10 pt. and 7-8 rebouds per game as a starter.  If Osik could play PF, he could also put up the same numbers.  The point is, the starting lineup at Houston with Dwight should be able to put up about 80-85 points per game, and any decent second unit on an NBA team should be good for 20 points per game.  So that makes 100-105 points per game; in Orlando during the 2009 championship run the Magic gave up only 94 points per game with Dwight anchoring the defense and you can make the claim that Houston now has better talent than the 2009 Magic squad. 

The  point is, if Dwight can return to anywhere chose to his previous defensive dominance, 100 points a game is going to win Houston a lot of games.  He doesn't need a third "star" to complement him.  Harden, Parsons and the bench quality they could afford with the money saved should provide Dwight with more than enough support.

And for the people who said the baby momma thing shouldn't matter, how would you like to be in the middle of the playoffs and have one or more of Dwight's disgruntled baby momma's start stirring up a ruckus to distract him?  Because the rumors are that a couple of them aren't all that happy that Dwight just keeps on grazing along in greener pastures, and are constantly hitting him up with more and more financial demands to keep quiet.  You know that if they get PO'd enough to start making waves, they're going to do it at a time that's most inconvenient to maximize the damage.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned .


And one last comment:  to the the guy that lambasted me that players shouldn't worry about being role models and that should fall to older and wiser guys.  Well, I am an older an wiser guy who is twice Dwight's age and my question is:  why shouldn't athletes making a $100 mil a year and who are admired by youngs kids take it seriously to be role models?  I've ran youth basketball leagues in central Florida for over 15 years (and helped out at Dwight's basketball camps a couple of times) and I see first hand how young kids admire NBA athletes and emulate their behavior.  Plus, wouldn't a more positive image result in more marketing opportunities?  Wasn't that the reason that Chris Paul and his agent were so mad at the Clippers owner for daring to suggest that Del Negro was fired because CP wanted him gone?  Because CP didn't want any negative perceptions of him affecting his marketing potential?

 

kramerbarthomer
kramerbarthomer

Did anyone notice that it doesn't mention anywhere in the Houston Chronicle article they referenced here that Howard wants them to add a third star? Way to go SI.com, this story isn't even accurate

SteveBienefeld
SteveBienefeld

Two red flags for Houston on the Howard front already.  The first, is that even while just talking about possibly joining the Rockets, Howard is already trying to dictate a personnel decision ("you guys need to sign another max player, ala Miami").  Secondly, I noticed yesterday that along with his agent, another of the attendees at the meeting was one of his marketing reps.  So once again, please tell me how Howard is all about winning titles.

AndyLazarescu
AndyLazarescu

well, if dwight wants to go, he should do so. what i'd try to do is to get phil jackson back and gamble on greg oden. i am sure phil would make him a star (as he has recycled many fallen stars before). another thing the lakers should do is to keep pau and maybe nash. oden would cost almost nothing and that would help the lakers a lot. i am pretty sure that a team featuring nash, kobe, pau, artest and oden instead of howard would do better than last season's team... and if oden gets injured again, or doesn't play good, the risk is minimal...we won championships with kobe and pau (because bynum hasn't had a great contribution). but imagine what would happen if oden exploded... and this thing is not really unlikely, is it?

JackFrost
JackFrost

The guy is bigger poison than Terrell Owens--and a petulant malingerer to boot--don't touch him. And btw, why is it that when Phil Mickelson talks about leaving California because of high taxes the media rains all heck down on him and he has to walk back his remarks--but in the case of Dwight Howard there are smiling faces all over EAssPAnn doing the math for him on a tax-saving transfer from CA to TX?

Alleymattie
Alleymattie

Who wants him. Really, look into his eyes and you see a player who day-dreams and takes plays off. No competitive juices, only concerned about his personal well being. Lip service when he says he wants to win championships. Not playing the way you do. He's a a cancer on any team. Please read this Dwight, maybe that will light a fire under his a s s.

j1o4k2o5
j1o4k2o5

He's got no offense, can't shoot FTs, and can't set a pick to save his life.  Overrated.

cjsamms
cjsamms

If Dwight wants a team to tailor the roster to his liking, then he should go to Atlanta. They have Horford and the cap space to another star. Houston would have to gut its chemistry to add a 3rd star. If Morey is willing to do that, then he's not as smart as he thinks he is. Dallas and LA don't have cap space until next year, but both Dirk and Kobe will be a year older.

If he's looking down the road, then Dwight should sign with LA. Among the teams trying to sign him, only the Lakers have the proven track record of overspending WISELY. And unlike other teams, they have the market to keep overspending, even with the luxury tax, to keep the run going. As their current roster proves, they're willing to keep overspending until they've completed their run. You already know Cuban isn't going to do that.

Best thing Lakers can do is keep Kobe away from Dwight and tell him to shut up until Dwight signs.

YZLee
YZLee

Still can't get over how Dwight couldn't dominate Tiago Splitter in the playoffs.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

Looks like Dwight is afraid to do the heavy lifting...  he wants others to join him...  Dwight never has and he never will threaten LeBron, but he is the one guy in the league who could and should.  Dwight, like LeBron, is a freak of nature.  His size, strength, speed, athleticism is very rare.  He's younger than LeBron too...  While Dwight is very good, he won't reach the heights that LeBron has (and I'm not a LeBron fan, I'm old and MJ is my guy).  

Jerkzilla
Jerkzilla

Even if Garnett and Pierce are old as dirt, I am sooooo glad Brooklyn got them and Joe Johnson rather D-Soft.

CraigWachs
CraigWachs

houston can win with OMAR THE TURKISH TERROR...they don't need no me me me player ... houston neens RONDO at point an they will be fine

bigmiket75
bigmiket75

One of the most talented big men to come along in the last 10-15 years, but is quite easily the emptiest between the ears. I don't know what GM's see that rest of us don't, this is the least hard working star in the league. Can anyone say that Dwight Howard has steadily improved at his game? He has added nothing really to his back to the basket game, and still gets by on just his explosive athleticism. He's a head case, and is loyal to no one but himself.

MischaStuhlerSafdie'
MischaStuhlerSafdie'

Also, I would add that Dwight has been pretty much (and I hate to say this) a malcontent wherever he has been.  He had problems in Orlando...could not get along with the coach and he has problems here in L.A.  He does not and never has been able to make up his mind where he wants to play.  He could not do it in Orlando and we had the same problem with him here in L.A.  The fans here could never warm up to Dwight because there was always this suspicion that he really did not want to be here and we were just renting him for a season.  I played lots of sports including on the professional level briefly, but always believed that if a guy does not want to be here or be on your team, then you don't want him....no matter what the talent level because in the end he will disrupt team chemistry.  Last season he was only here for a month and already complaining about not getting the ball enough.  When they gave it to him, teams would simply foul him or hack him as soon as he got into the paint with it and of course the predictable happened.  He barely made 40 per cent of his free throws, meaning he missed about 60 per cent of them....and those lost points in close games absolutely killed the Lakers and cost us many of those games.  Yes...there were a few times that he scored over 20 points in a game but he would turn the ball over continually and miss as many free throws as points he scored.  I honestly believe if Bynum were healthy and back, (and even when he was here) he was the better and certainly more dominant Center.  I think there are others out there that are probably just as good or will develop into better Centers than Dwight.  Like Kobe told him, "We need you here in L.A., but in order to win and move to the next level, you need us just as much."  This nails it and is something Kobe had to learn the hard way over time and something Dwight still does not understand.

LMT42
LMT42

@Timothy14..The good news is that it isn't that far gone yet. As crazy as Morey's been so far, he isn't an idiot. So far, he at least realizes that he'd better deny that his dream acquisition isn't flaking out already. When D. Morey said that DH didn't request a third maxer-outer, he at least confirmed that he knows what his public face is worth. Until we find out otherwise. What we do know is that he gambled his professional credibility and a team that could've gone at least one round further than than they did (in more than one season) if he had just tried to get a middling center who could box out and let the rest do the rest. The idea that he needed a "star" center was nothing more than a meme.

LMT42
LMT42

@Timothy14 You noticed that huh? He wants to get rich and turn the locker room into his social scene. Why, oh why, did we let all those other centers go in the last few years? When I think of the ones who moved or re-upped,.. why were we ever interested in this one? Does Morey not understand that "Star" status DOES NOT equal talent or achievement? Apparently not.

the magic moose
the magic moose

@kramerbarthomer

"Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discussed not only the plans going forward, but was also asked about how the Rockets were built to position themselves to be able to offer a second max contract."

This is probably the line they were referring to but my interpretation of it was that Howard asked how they were positioned to offer HIM a second max contract (with the first being James Harden's) not offering another max contract after signing him.

BostonJew
BostonJew

@kramerbarthomer Good point. Either CNNSI referenced the wrong article, or they're scheming to get more clicks and views. It definitely got me to click, and I'm just a loser Celtics fan. 

Well played, CNN. Well played. 

nerd_ventures
nerd_ventures

@JackFrost the only one that has been talking about the tax issue has been the writers.  If you have any sources otherwise, it'd be an interesting read, but as far as I can tell, all of the tax discussion has been pertaining to the value of the contract that the Lakers have to offer (as it is really the only leverage they have in these negotiations).  

nerd_ventures
nerd_ventures

@j1o4k2o5 he's arguably the best center in the league.  he's a top 3 defensive talent in the paint.  he's strong and attacks on PnR.  I remember another guy that couldn't shoot FTs... I think he did pretty well for himself.  

Hampton180
Hampton180

@cjsamms This is true, but the track record belongs to Jerry not Jim Buss.  As a Laker fan I am not too optimistic about any future moves at this point.

nerd_ventures
nerd_ventures

@Wisconsin Death Trip well... just looking at the track record... maybe there's something in the locker room water that makes players act like entitled egocentrics.  Pau was a drama queen when he was about to get traded, Kobe throwing a hissy fit when Shaq was in town, MWP... always... let's face it... being a laker in the last couple of decades almost requires you to be a spectacle.  

nerd_ventures
nerd_ventures

@Sportsfan18 Dwight's Magic beat Lebron's Cavs to go to the Finals.  Lebron has won 2 championships, stop acting like he's created a dynasty.  Luke Walton has two championships.  Who cares. 

baucumjoseph
baucumjoseph

@Sportsfan18 It's funny that you say Dwight is too afraid to do the heavy lifting, but then you compare him to LeBron, who also was too afraid of doing the heavy lifting and had to orchestrate a super team in Miami.  It's also hilarious that people forget who Dwight was before he was injured or that he played too early last season instead of recovering fully.  Is 2009 really that far away that people forget that he took the Magic to the Finals with Lewis, Turkoglu, and Alston (that's right, Rafer Alston everybody) as his best teammates.  How fickle fans can be sometimes with their memories...

nerd_ventures
nerd_ventures

@Jerkzilla yea... they're really the last pieces the nets needed to get out of the first round....

nerd_ventures
nerd_ventures

@CraigWachs Rondo can't shoot.  The Rockets offense calls for a shooting guard that can set the offense and then hang back for perimeter kick outs from ISO drives. 

calvinosmith
calvinosmith

@CraigWachs I like Omar a lot.  He is a fierce defender and rebounder and his offense steadily improved during the season.  Most importantly, he is a team player who isn't demanding.  On the Rockets, the offense has to flow through Harden to maximize his talents -- it's going to be tough to do this with Howard.  If he didn't like Kobe's style of play, why would he like Harden's?   Harden like to play iso-ball a lot.  BTW, that's also why Rondo won't work for them.  Rondo needs to control the offense, and that won't happen on a Harden-led team.  What the Rocket need is a spot up shooter for their PG, like Jose Calderon.

alphapsi
alphapsi

@bigmiket75 Exactly why he's not worth a max, or real contenders time.  As he gets older and his athleticism fades relative to young guys, he doesn't have the talent to dominate.  I'd much rather have Lopez at this point, who has a variety of skill lowpost moves and jump/hook shots to go to, than Dwight who relies purely on athleticism to beat his man, and was badly exposed this year at times already because of it.

MischaStuhlerSafdie'
MischaStuhlerSafdie'

Still....good luck Dwight...wherever you end up.  Wishing you the best.  Thanks for your contributions in L.A.

MischaStuhlerSafdie'
MischaStuhlerSafdie'

@LMT42 @Timothy14 I am in L.A..  We had this guy on our team. Fans are divided about wanting to keep him.  He is a nice guy, but not a complete enough talent to warrant the money involved in keeping him.  He cannot make free throws and killed us here at the end of close games....many that we could have won if he just made his free throws.  He wants to be THE GUY and lacks an understanding of team concept.  He is intimidated easily, has no mean streak and like Shaq said, he has to have one and teams do not fear him.  They only respect him and therefore will not double him.  I think 15 years ago or even 10 years ago he might not even have cracked the top 10 in best NBA centers.  I am not sure he will help Houston that much.  He sure did not do much here in L.A. for us.


JackFrost
JackFrost

@nerd_ventures @JackFrost That is exactly my point--the same writers (and talking heads) who cast aspersions on Phil Mickelson for suggesting a move for tax reasons are now doing the math for Dwight Howard.  Howard is probably incapable of doing the math himself--maybe not even able to understand the point--but those media people are in there pitching for him, whereas they tried to make Mickelson look like Simon Legree.  Double standard created and maintained by two-faced media.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@nerd_ventures @Sportsfan18 It's about more than titles.  Robert Horry has 7 titles.  More than MJ.  My point is about what each player has done in the league.  Who has worked hard and improved their game?  LeBron has improved his game far more than Dwight.  I'm not a LeBron fan either.  I'm an MJ fan and a Bulls fan.  Not a fair weather fan either as I'm old.  I remember sitting in the old stadium watching the A-Train Artis Gilmore play for the Bulls long before MJ ever showed up there...

Who cares that Dwight's team beat the Cavs to go to the Finals then?  I don't.  I do know that LeBron has worked to improve his game.  Many don't as they are happy with their millions.  LeBron simply isn't coasting on just his talent alone.  

Dwight is far from alone in coasting on just his talent, many do it in professional sports.   It's why Dwight won't ever be mentioned in the company of MJ, LeBron, Bird, Magic, Russel etc...

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@baucumjoseph @Sportsfan18 By heavy lifting, I was referring more to his mental side.  LeBron wants to win, to be great, puts in the work, cares about titles, improves, learned how to post up, adds to his game etc...  LeBron doesn't have the killer instinct of MJ, but still he wants to win and works hard at his game, puts in the effort.  4 MVP's and 2 titles and counting.

Dwight on the other hand cares about many things.  He is a goof ball (and that isn't bad in and of itself).  He cares about having fun, playing around, being young and having fun.

Look up and compare Dwight Howard's career stats vs. those of LeBron James.  I'm not referring to who has more points, a higher scoring average etc...  Simply compare how each has improved in various categories since their rookie years.  Whose game has improved over the years?  The stats will show that LeBron has improved in many areas consistently over the years in his career.  In this way, LeBron has done the heavy lifting to improve himself and his team.  LeBron hasn't simply coasted by on his talent.  He's honed his skills and a review of many categories in his career stats will bear that out.

LeBron's field goal percentage has increased now for 6 consecutive NBA seasons...  That isn't easy to do.

LeBron's rebounds and assists were similar his first four years in the league, but then he raised both of them and has maintained the higher levels since his 5th yr on in each of these categories.  No back sliding, he improved and he's maintained it.

The past 2 NBA seasons, LeBron's 3 pt shooting percentage have been the two highest 3 pt shooting percentages of his career.  Again, he's worked on his game and improved.

Dwight Howard never shot below 50% in free throws for his first 7 seasons.  His first season he was at .671%.  He was then between .586 and .596 percent for the next 6 yrs.

Dwight's free throw percentage in his 8th and 9th NBA seasons was .491 and .492 percent.

He's back sliding by a good bit and he did this while only being 26 yrs old and 27 yrs old in these past 2 seasons...

Dwight is very good at basketball.  He is a super talent but he isn't close to being a LeBron and he should be like LeBron except he isn't willing to put in the work, the effort at improving his game. In short, Dwight doesn't wanna work or do the heavy lifting...

alphapsi
alphapsi

@baucumjoseph @Sportsfan18 Afraid to do the heavy lifting?  Was he not doing the heavy lifting every year in Cleveland?  They went from conference finals with him to worst team in the NBA without him.  I'd say that's heavy.  And it's not like Wade and Bosh were worth all that much more for Lebron who had to consistently put up 35+ to keep his team from being eliminated this year.  If anything, he just wanted to play with his buddies, he knew who was going to be doing work on that team.  By contrast, Howard here straight up just said get me someone else who can do the work.  Literally couldn't care less who, as long as Harden and another player worth a max were on the team to take the pressure off him, it is a good fit.  I'm a Nets fan, not even a heat/lebron fan, but come on, the blind Lebron hate is so old at this point.  Give it a rest, guy is top 3 all time already purely talent wise.

Saqalicious
Saqalicious

@baucumjoseph Agree with most everything you say, but yes, 2009 is really that far away if you have followed the D12 soap opera the past few years.

CraigWachs
CraigWachs

@calvinosmith @CraigWachs  my point is , i believe they could win with a better point guard , like rondo... he did a great job feeding garnett , peirce , allen in boston... i agree with omar , he's a team player thats gonna get better .. howard is to me me me to win anywhere.. lovbe watching harden but lin at point just doesnt do it for me.. let rondo run with this team... 10 - 12 asst. per game 

bjhanse2
bjhanse2

@SwagSports @alphapsi @baucumjoseph @Sportsfan18 And have you heard the Cav's owner?  The guy was basically banking on LBJ giving him some home-state attachment - playing on the guys emotions to gain an advantage.  Then threw an all-out tantrum complete with threats when LBJ didn't take the  Who would want to play for Gilbert when you have laid-back Arison and Pat flippin Riley recruiting you out of the hell hole that is the city of Cleveland to play with one of your best buds in sunny paradise?


And for folks who say that LBJ came to "someone else's team".  Please, the guy has made the Heat his team.  Wade is a shell of his 2006 form, and breaks off big games about as often as Mike Miller.  And there is precedent where players come to another star's team and make it theirs - Garnett in Boston, Shaq in LA, Duncan in SA (drafted), Magic taking over Lakes from Kareem (again, draft), etc.  Just because you come into a team with an established star (and Wade's has faded), doesn't mean you don't make it your own.

SwagSports
SwagSports

@alphapsi @baucumjoseph @Sportsfan18 The Cavs went from conference finals to worst team because Varejao and Mo Williams, their second and third best players, were injured for virtually the entire season. People try to make the contrast from one year to the next when LBJ left, but in context, it's not as bad as people make it out to be. That said, what team in the NBA can lose their best player with no compensation and still make playoff noise? Not many, if any at all.

As for LBJ's leaving for Miami, he was a coward. Dwyane Wade won a title in that city before LBJ got there. He won, and owned the city before LBJ, and LBJ left to join Wade, not the other way around. That's deferring to another star, no matter how you dice it up. He can double up Wade's production every last year he's in Miami, but it won't matter. He'll always be the guy who left his hometown team like a coward to join someone else who already knew how to win. He's talented as heck, and he's a phenomenal player, but it's career decisions like that one that keep him from commanding the same legendary respect as guys like MJ and Kobe IMO.

Hampton180
Hampton180

@alphapsi @baucumjoseph @Sportsfan18 When LeBron came to Miami he was expecting Wade and Bosh to play at the levels they played at prior to the big three being united.  True he needed to step up this year and last, but his intentions were never to absolutely need to do that.  His heavy lifting in Cleveland amounted to what Dwight did in Orlando: Make it to and lose one Finals.  In the end I dont believe Howard has the feeling of wanting Houston to add any other max player, I think he is just putting out feelers before he begins to make every request big and small to once again maintain his status of being a demanding diva.