Personally, I've saddled up in a vehicle and dodged the tumbleweeds on Interstate 10 between Houston and Los Angeles three times.*
Each time I've done the drive the future of two NBA franchises did not hang in the balance.
Today, the Indecisive One, Dwight Howard, can put all his motorcycle trikes in a U-Haul and potentially bolster the upward trajectory of the Houston Rockets by making the 1,500 mile, zero turn drive to Houston.
With the grace of Kayne West at the VMA's the Houston Rockets have made unabashedly clear the franchise will perform any necessary contortion to bring "Superman" to Houston.
For better or worse** we at The Dream Shake are ready to catalog the saga and take you along for the ride.
Welcome to the new Dwight Howard Storystream.
Daryl Morey has already given Francisco Garcia his walking papers as a cost cutting move. It wouldn't surprise me if Cisco is brought back at a discount when all is said and done, but it's clear he's gone for now to clear cap space and give the Rockets flexibility.
Daryl Morey is shopping former lottery pick Thomas Robinson around the league. Robinson is guaranteed $3.52 million next season. Morey is reportedly looking to give away T-Rob to save dollars and create as much space as possible.
Despite advertising the T-Rob Blowout Sale no team has come forward as a potential suitor for T-Rob.
Today Johnathan Feigen shed more light on the situation:
Trading Thomas Robinson, a 6-10 forward, is considered the most likely means to get enough cap room, but according to a person with knowledge of their plans, "there are about 20 other ways."
Worth noting: The Rockets front office sees "20 other ways" to find the saving needed to bring in Dwight Howard. So it's not a guarantee T-Rob is out the door, but it's clearly the preferred course of action by the front office.
Harden has reportedly reached out to Howard several times during the off-season encouraging him to consider coming to Houston. Knowing Harden's off-court persona and "hobbies" we can only speculate what a pitch from James Harden is like. The only thing I'm sure of: If James Harden has a landline the phone receiver has a plaid-denim cover.
Dream Shake Articles:
Catch up on the action with these Dwight-related articles from The Dream Shake and SB Nation:
- Rockets plan to move Thomas Robinson to make room for Dwight Howard
- What Situation Is Best For Dwight Howard?
- Rockets reportedly receive 'hopeful signals' center is considering Houston
- 7 Reasons Dwight Howard Should Come To Houston
Across The NBA:
There's no shortage of talking heads encouraging Dwight to flee Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in favor of Houston:
They have a better basketball team next year on paper than the Los Angeles Lakers -- I think he's going to Houston.
Bill Plaschke: LA Times
On Howard, Plaschke addresses Lakers fans: "Please don't hope he stays. ... Dwight Howard needs to leave. He's not happy here."
Worth noting: This guy has lost to Woody on Around The Horn. A lot.
Jemele Hill: ESPN
Harden is a better player than anyone on the Lakers' roster, with the exception of Bryant. Harden needs a legitimate partner to elevate the Rockets in the NBA hierarchy. Chandler Parsons is an emerging young player. Center Omer Asik justified the $25 million contract he received with career highs this season in points and rebounds.
And if you're Howard, would you rather be coached by D'Antoni or Kevin McHale, one of best post players in NBA history? Under McHale, perhaps Howard's offensive game could finally fully blossom.
Howard could win a title in Houston. He could build his own identity without worrying about always being compared to Magic, Kareem or Kobe.
The Rockets are leading in the youth and talent department. In addition to James Harden, one of the best young players in the game, the Rockets boast a budding star in Chandler Parsons, a major draw in Jeremy Lin and a host of complementary players that can score and take pressure off Dwight. Harden has already begun recruiting Howard, who will provide instant defense and improve their team significantly on that end of the floor.
This commentary calls it 50-50 that Howard leaves LA. But it gives significant praise to the Rockets and notes the Lakers will be at least a season away from changing the current roster.
*Shout out to Van Horn, Texas, my favorite "NBA related" stop on the drive from Houston to LA. I'll always wear knee high socks while scoring a 5 Hour Energy at the local Love's.
**As an editorial note.
I'm a firm believer of Dwight Howard on the Houston Rockets.
Do I think he wilts under pressure? Yes.
Do I think he's a #manchild? Yes.
Do I think he screwed the Magic organization and helped torpedo the Lakers? Yes.
Do I think he fails as a primary offensive option, but believes he should be one? Yes.
Do I think when properly surrounded, compelled and managed that he's one of the best players in the league and capable of helping deliver a championship? Yes.
Is that a huge "when"? Yes.