Rockets hire Orlando Magic strength and conditioning coach, Joe Rogowski

Bob Levey

The Rockets have hired a new strength and conditioning coach, and there is a not-so-coincidental connection to a free agent to be.

With free agency set to start in a few days, the Rockets have already made one signing, hiring Joe Rogowski of the Orlando Magic as their strength and conditioning coach. Rogowski is one of the most highly respected strength and conditioning coaches in the NBA, but I'd be naive to say that he is solely being hired for his merits as a coach. Rogowski also has maintained a long-standing relationship with Dwight Howard, and the Rockets have to believe that he might help in their pitch to him.

With this news, the Rockets formally move on from Darryl Eto. Eto has been the Rockets' director of strength and conditioning for the last three years, and has drawn criticism for his modern, yet sometimes unorthodox training techniques. With a more traditional S&C coach coming in, the Rockets appear to be moving on from those techniques.

One thing worth noting is that Dwight Howard's shoulders went from average to freakishly enormous under Rogowski. Can you imagine D-Mo with shoulders like that? He'd be the best power forward in the NBA!!! (that's assuming you don't already consider him the best in the league) The Rockets are trying to build a robotic team full of players with massive shoulders, and Rogowski is the man to do the job. If only Patrick Patterson were still here. I'm sure he'd appreciate Rogowski's shoulder workouts.

But on a more serious note, this hire does set a somewhat dangerous precedent. Rogowski has enough credentials on his own to be qualified for this hire, but should the Rockets really go down the road the Magic and Cavaliers did in hiring coaches solely to cater to a superstar's desires? What happens if Dwight Howard says he'll sign only if the Rockets fire Kevin McHale? Do they just let it happen? If Daryl Morey gets Dwight to sign on the dotted line, they need to get a Dwight that is ready not to be a prima donna and just play basketball. Signing a bunch of his buddies to surround him might not be the best idea for that.

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