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Dwight Howard says he’s “on same page” with Rockets trying to add another star

Jun 18, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Dwight Howard, James Harden AP

Houston has Dwight Howard and James Harden, but they want their own “big three.”

In their first year together Howard and Harden led a Rockets team with an explosive offense to 54 wins, but in the playoffs Damian Lillard was knocking down shots and leading Portland to knock off the Rockets 4-2 in the first round. It was a sign of how far the Rockets still have to go

Now the Rockets want to add one more big name — Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James or Chris Bosh if they opt out, or whoever else may be available.

Howard is “on the same page” with that and he just wants to win, he wants to get another star in Houston, he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“Looking at this organization, where we’re trying to go, I think all of us are pretty much on the same page. Each day I’m talking to the people up top, trying to figure out ways to try and get better. The coaching staff, from our trainer, in the weight room the guys are working on our bodies every day just trying to figure out how to get better. That’s been our focus….

“I haven’t spoken with Melo personally. I know this is a time for him when he has to really just focus on what’s going to be best for him. And I really believe that in this point in Melo’s career, he just wants to win. He’s done everything – we both have that kind of same mentality to where all the individual accolades, we’ve got them. We’ve got a gold medal, he has been in tops in scoring for a while, but those are all individual things. I think at this point he just wants to win, so it would be great to have him here because I know what his focus would be. It’s up to him, where he’s at in his career. But I want people on my team who are all about winning. That’s my focus.”

Howard spent the entire Q&A talking about winning, about pushing himself and his teammates to get to the next level. He said everything a Rockets fan could want to hear.

That off-season improvement likely is not enough in the West, hence the drive for a third star.

Getting Anthony or any star will require some financial gymnastics — trading Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin without taking any salary back, plus possibly letting Chandler Parsons walk (he’s a restricted free agent so the Rockets can match and offer, and they have his bird rights so they can go over the cap to re-sign him, but that has to be after the star signs for there to be room to add a player like that).

Last season was a bit of a learning curve year for the Rockets, one where Howard and Harden tried to adjust to one another. The Rockets should be better next season no matter what moves GM Daryl Morey makes, the problem is they are in the West and better may not be good enough against the Spurs, Thunder or Clippers.

So the Rockets want another star. Howard wants that, too. He’s not going to recruit guys, but he’s on “the same page” with the front office.

  1. mrlaloosh - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    How many “learning curves” does Dwight Howard need? He’s like whirling dervish. Will NEVER get a ring unless he buys one on eBay.

  2. patfic5 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    D-12. No rings for you.

  3. patfic5 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    D-12. No rings for you. Wish we could’ve put your knees on Greg Oden. Least he had heart.

    • ranfan12 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      That still wouldn’t help the rockets with the way james harden played. It’s not like dwight quit on the team. He was the most consistent on his team

  4. addict2sport - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Of course he’s on the same page. He knows he needs a real star to lead his team. Playing 3rd fiddle (or probably even 4th) would be his best chance for a ring.

  5. tomasekradek - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    They definitely won’t match Spurs or Thunder, even if they get Love or Bosh or Melo etc. But since this season they already played good enought to keep up with LAC, any improvement will push them over unless Clippers make some signature moves.

  6. hickoryhigh - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Dwight, let me save you the time and trouble of talking to guys at the top trying to find out how to get better.

    Get in the gym and learn how to score the basketball.

    I’m surprised nobody has ever told you that before.

  7. rrhoe - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    As long as the pressure is not on Dwight I am sure he is okay with anything.

  8. fordmandalay - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Dwight just wants a big name to come in and take even more of the spotlight off him, so he can coast a bit more. With his potential and the sorry state of centers in the NBA today, he should easily be averaging 26 and 18 – but that would take effort such as actually developing an offensive game.

    • xLith - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      He averaged 26 and 13.7 in the playoffs. I think he did his part.

  9. csbanter - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    D12 wants Lebron, Chris Paul and LaMarcus Aldridge, why not throw in Paul George in as well.

  10. pistolpete0903 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    They need some defense on the perimeter…..Anthony is no good. A hard nosed defender along the lines of Tony Allen would be nice
    I can see a Lance Stephenson trade coming…they could probably let Parsons go; Lance (provided McHale straightens him out) could be a good fit.
    Doubt if they would be able to re-sign Asik (he is going to get paid)

  11. norcalkingsfan - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Spurs just proved that team basketball trumps stars all day.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      The Spurs played fantastic but they played the same way for the last 15 years and hadn’t won anything in the last 7 years. I like the Spurs but the last 7 years they had a top 1-4 record in the LEAGUE and lost as a number 1 seed to an 8 seed and never won back to back titles playing the same way. So team ball doesn’t always trump stars and isn’t Duncan,parker and Ginobli stars? Just saying.

      • mikerome64 - Jun 19, 2014 at 3:36 AM

        Thank you for pointing that out. I was thinking the same thing.

    • engh533 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      You mean team ball with 3 future HOFs and a rising star in Leonard RIGHT!!!!

    • ddarqwon - Jun 19, 2014 at 5:37 AM

      As if the Spurs don’t have stars.

  12. jimeejohnson - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    CantonPeaBrain: when losers like you speak,other losers listen. Everyone else just ignores your stupidity and hate. After all, only a fat chick New Yawk a$$hole like you would even spout such garbage.

    • kb2408 - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      He hasn’t even commented on this story, wth are you talking about?!

  13. kb2408 - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    He is the Ewing of his era…except Ewing was better. Zero rings. Franchise centers win championships. Just go through the history of great centers. Ewing didn’t because he had to deal with Hakeem, MJ, David Robinson, Kareem, Parish, Bird, etc….who has Dwight had to go through?

    • paleihe - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      “…who has Dwight had to go through?”

      Kobe, Duncan and Lebron. These players (and their teams) have dominated while Howard has been in the league.

      2005 Duncan
      2007 Duncan
      2009 Kobe
      2010 Kobe
      2012 Lebron
      2013 Lebron
      2014 Duncan

      • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        I don’t like Howard but who has he played with in his career that compared with the guys that Duncan,koby,lbj,magic,jabbar ewing,MJ,etc. played with and he just got with Harding and the jury is still out on him as a defender and in the playoffs. One year with Koby coming off back surgery and a torn rotator cuff and with no- D’Antoni as the coach.

  14. campcouch - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    The Spurs…who’ve remarkably have had 1 losing season in 25 years and I don’t mean like one game over .500 winning seasons. That means one lottery pick in that span. Not once did we hear any of those teams say we need to bring in somebody. They signed FAs that nobody wanted,traded for players that weren’t valued and signed castoffs. But they ultimately built through the draft. Good scouting at home and abroad and look to be successful even when Duncan and Manu retire.That’s patience man and humility. Teammates believing in their team,and not thinking they needed a hired gun. No reason why Houston couldn’t do that as well. Sign some better supporting players and spread the wealth,you’ll get some titles then ya lazy bum.

    • Professor Fate - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      The Spurs are a well-run organization…now. Let’s not forget that they were a laughing stock for many years (21-61 in ’88-’89) until drafting David Robinson, who (after completing military service) only agreed to not re-enter the draft if the Spurs paid him the average of the two highest-paid players in the league each year or release him to free agency. This is what is known as taking a huge chance.

      The Spurs made a then-record turnaround and went to the playoffs for something like seven years in a row without winning it all. In ’97-’98 Robinson hurt first his back and then his foot, playing something like six games the whole season. Along with Sean Elliot’s injury the Spurs fell to 20-62. Despite having only the third-worst record in the league, they won the #1 pick and got Tim Duncan.

      Yes, all the other important pieces were obtained via good draft picks, trades, etc., but the team isn’t where it is today without the incredible luck of being just crappy enough at just the right time to steal Duncan.

  15. tombstone7 - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    DH is totally whacked if he thinks adding another superstar will help the Rockets’ fortune. One, he has to become more of a serious-minded leader on the floor, which he isn’t. Two, his happy-go-lucky and filled with joy attitude hasn’t competed well in the semi-finals or garnished a ring. Good for him and his “free-spirit!” Let us know how’s that working out when you see other players in your generation collecting hardware! DH doesn’t send a message that he owns the paints…..he should,but no one is fearful on coming into that zone.

    Adding Carmelo and any other top shelf player doesn’t guarantee anything, but a higher payroll. The Rockets would be better served if they spent money on improving their BENCH! Sign guys who can come and add energy and consistent contributions in 6 minutes spurt.

    Finally, DH needs to improve his overall leadership capabilities. His style of being a “pleaser” is getting tiresome. Then work on a mid-range jumper, say about 10 feet from the basket and then stay away from the cheerleaders and other females looking for a payday……then and only then the ROCKETS become relevant.

    Noticed that I haven’t even mentioned James Harden….why? because DH is the face of the franchise! OWN UP TO IT!

    • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      Screw the 10 foot jumper a turn around jump shot in the post would be nice. His only post moves are sweeping across the lane going left or right and shooting a semi hook shot. Whats the point in working with Hakeem if you don’t have a turn around or face up jumper?

  16. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    how can dwight say he got all the individual accolades..neither he nor carmelo “have it all”

  17. marcuspokus - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    What the Rockets really need is to concentrate on becoming a good defensive team. They can keep adding stars, but defense is what gets you to the finals.

  18. nightrain42 - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Maybe there was something to Kobe telling DH he cld teach him how to win….cuz he still doesn’t get it!

  19. 32magicman - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    Shoulda stayed in L.A. Dwight! Then maybe you could attract the Loves and Melo’s that you want!

  20. birdsofprey305 - Jun 19, 2014 at 4:29 AM


    Sorry but not every team is as good as the spurs in drafting and player development especially international players. If it was simple everyone would do it.

  21. ddarqwon - Jun 19, 2014 at 6:53 AM

    There is little more than mind-numbing ignorance in most of these comments.

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