Dwight's interview after his his decision, lot of revealing stuff in here, about his decision, the Lakers, and I think his personality, which led to his decision (he thinks he is already a winner, his definition of winner is much different than Kobe and the Lakers definition). Also, plenty of referring to himself in the third person, Dwight did what was best for Dwight. http://www.hoopsworld.com/dwight-howard-discusses-decision-in-qa
Dwight Howard Discusses Decision in Q&A
Dwight Howard Discusses Decision in Q&A
By Alex Kennedy
Senior NBA Writer
On Friday evening, Dwight Howard officially decided to join the Houston Rockets. He had been weighing his options in Aspen, Colorado and ultimately chose the Rockets over the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks.
Shortly after making his decision, he spoke to HOOPWORLD in an exclusive phone interview.
Why did you select the Rockets over the other four teams you met with?
Dwight Howard: “I felt like Houston was the best fit for me. I felt that James and I would really have an opportunity to grow together. I felt like having a coach like Kevin McHale and having Hakeem Olajuwon, who’s in Houston, can really help me grow as a player – help me as a post player and help my overall game. It was very appealing. I felt like this was a great opportunity for me to start fresh. I’m just looking forward to this opportunity.”
How excited are you to play with James Harden in Houston?
DH: “Ah man, I’m very excited. I’m very excited. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been in contact with James and we’ve just been talking about developing a good relationship so we can lead that team as far as we can. We’ve been talking about winning championships.”
Do you feel that this is the closest you’ve been to a championship in this your career?
DH: “Nothing is ever promised, but I feel like this is going to be a great opportunity for us to win. Playing with a guy like James and the rest of the team they have, we have a great opportunity. You only have a small window to win in the NBA. I think this gives me a good window, a good opportunity, to win. I’m going to do what I can to help this team win. I think, right now, I’m the oldest guy on the team so I’ll be the youngest veteran in the NBA. But it’s a great opportunity. Looking at this team and the team we had in Orlando, it’s a very similar team, but we’re adding a guy like James Harden to that team. It’s a great opportunity.”
What stood out for you in the Rockets’ presentation earlier this week?
DH: “It wasn’t really the presentation. Every team that I talked to had a great presentation. And it’s not like I came in thinking that the Rockets would be the team and didn’t pay attention in the other meetings or anything like that. I really listened. I took notes. I asked questions. I did everything I could to make sure I was making the best possible decision for myself. I just looked at everything in the end and I just felt like this was the place to go.”
Are you happy to move on from this process and just focus on basketball again?
DH: “I am. Now, I’ll get a chance to just put down the hammer somewhere and just play. There’s no more uncertainty. People don’t have to worry about anything for the next four years or say anything for the next four years. I’m just going to play and be who I am. I’ll get back everything that I lost. I’m looking forward to it.”
How tough have these two years and all of this drama been on you?
DH: “I’m sick and tired of all the sources. I’m sick of people coming up with stories. I mean, it’s just a blessing for me. I had the opportunity to go through all of this – go through this process – but it’s been tough. Seeing all of the stuff on the internet. Seeing stuff that the reporters are saying when it’s nowhere near true and not who I am as a person. I was perceived as someone who I’m not. It hurt a lot. It really hurt a lot. But the only thing now is to move forward. I have an opportunity to get past all of that and I’m looking forward to it. This summer has been great. I’ve gotten away from everything this summer. I didn’t pay attention to anything that was being put out there on T.V. I had to hear about it, but I didn’t focus on any of that stuff. I focused on getting better. I’m just looking forward to the next half of my career.”
Was it tough walking away from a franchise like the Lakers? They really haven’t lost a marquee free agent before.
DH: “Very tough. Very, very, very tough. Very, very tough. People wouldn’t understand. Walking away from them and walking away from $30 million. That shows you right there that I want to win. I want to win. Nothing else matters other than winning. I don’t think anybody would’ve ever walked away from $30 million, but I want to win. But yeah, just walking away was tough. I was walking away from six million fans. I was walking away from a storied franchise. All of that makes it tough and it makes it a really, really big risk. I learned a lot from the situation in Orlando though, when I was afraid to walk away because I didn’t want to hurt people. I was afraid to leave because everything seemed like it was great. But now, I’m doing what’s best for Dwight. People are going to be mad and upset either way, so I’d rather be happy. I want to be happy playing basketball rather than upset doing what everyone wants me to do.”
What did you think of Kobe Bryant’s comments that he could teach you how to be a winner?
DH: “He didn’t say anything of that sort. People twisted a lot of stuff that he said. But in my personal opinion, I’m a winner. I’m a winner because I’ve been playing for nine years when the average career for an NBA player is three years. I’m a winner because I made it to the NBA from a small school in Atlanta, GA, with 16 people in a class. I’m a winner because I’m succeeding in life. I’ve had problems and I’m not better than the next man, but I’m going to push myself to be a winner when it comes to winning a championship. But he didn’t say anything like that and a lot of people twisted what he did say.”
If Phil Jackson had been more involved with the Lakers or coaching the team, would that have affected your decision?
DH: “Well, I asked to have him as my coach earlier in the year. (pause) The best decision for me was to do what’s best for Dwight. I think this is the best thing for me. This wasn’t a decision about anybody else. I didn’t have anybody pushing me to do anything. This is what Dwight wanted.”
Have you gotten much sleep lately?
DH: “Man, I’ve actually gotten some good sleep. When the meetings were going on, I didn’t really get much sleep. But after that, after I left, I really got the chance to sleep and just enjoy life. I went up to Colorado and had a good time. Man, I had a good time. I really enjoyed myself. I played chess, ping pong and just got away. I want to get back to that person. That’s who I am. That’s the person that made me who I am and who people love. I have to get back to being that.”
Why did you decide to weigh your options in Colorado?
DH: “I love that place. I love the mountains, trees and nature. That’s who I am as a person. I love that stuff and I wanted to get away. I wanted to enjoy the beauty of the earth. That’s why I went there.”
Did the Rockets talk about acquiring Josh Smith during their presentation?
DH: “They didn’t talk to me about it. They just talked about the opportunity that they have for me and what they can provide for me as a player. That’s what was intriguing for me. But like I said in the beginning, it was very tough. Very, very tough.”