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Cable television opportunities part of the pitch to Dwight Howard from Lakers, Rockets

Jul 2, 2013, 12:07 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Media Day Getty Images

We know that wherever Dwight Howard chooses to play for the next four or five seasons, despite what he may try to put out there publicly at this point, the decision will be about more than just basketball.

Howard was said to be intrigued by the Lakers not only due to having the immediate opportunity to win there, but also because Los Angeles is a major media market, and the center of the universe where the entertainment industry is concerned.

It’s been said more than once that Howard’s interests in exploring personal marketing opportunities outside of basketball will be almost as important as the roster he’s surrounded with next season, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the two teams favored to to land Dwight in free agency are including that piece as a part of their respective presentations to him in free agency.

The Rockets made their pitch to Howard Sunday night, and of course, it went well — as if they’d say otherwise. Besides trotting out team legends like Yao Ming and Trail Blazers great Clyde Drexler (who played a whopping three and a half of his 15 NBA seasons in Houston), the organization included a local cable television opportunity as part of its package.

The Lakers, naturally, will do the same when they sit down to get the last word in with Howard on Tuesday.

Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles televises all Lakers home and away games, and fills the vast majority of its programming — seriously, it has to be north of 80 percent — with studio shows or behind-the-scenes, documentary-style footage of the team throughout the season.

Like the billboard campaign the Lakers have been widely mocked for, this is just another piece of the puzzle in terms of what courting Howard requires. And it’s one that both L.A. and Houston are wise not to overlook when engaging in those final discussions.

  1. apkyletexas - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Drexler was always a driving force for Houston basketball. Before he came to the Rockets, Houston fans would keep one eye on the Rockets game, and the other eye on how Clyde did that night for Portland. He never really left after he graduated from U of H. His championship season with Hakeem in ’95 is the pinnacle of pro sports history for the city.

  2. youngry - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Drexler was there because he’s a Houston guy from back in the phi slamma jamma days.

  3. lmatic19 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    On what planet will there be an “immediate opportunity” for the lakers to win next year?

  4. 702heatrock - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    ‘ pinnacle of houston sports’ is an indication how much the Houston football teams shi. t the bed…

  5. elcapitanfiscal - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Houston has a football team?

  6. coryfor3 - Jul 2, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Drexler has more of a connection to Houston than just the seasons spent with the Rockets. He’s sort of a community ambassador who happens to know what it is like to be a Rocket.

  7. klownboy - Jul 2, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Memo to Dwight: go to Houston!

  8. caeser12 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Howard should first master his craft, which is BASKETBALL, if he does that everything else will fall in line, but he won’t, and he will continue to just be a “good” Center, in contrast to being a “Great” one.

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