All star center and former defensive player of the year, Dwight Howard has announced his decision not to resign with the Lakers and to sign with the Houston Rockets.
Howard committed to the Houston Rockets on Friday after mulling offers from five teams, including the Lakers, the Golden State Warriors, the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks.
The first official confirmation came from Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers’ general manager, in a statement posted online Friday night.
“We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers,” Kupchak said. “Naturally, we’re disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great Lakers fans will be proud to support.”
Kupchak thanked Howard “for his time and consideration” and added, “We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his N.B.A. career.”
The first clue from Howard came in the form of his Twitter avatar, which was altered to show him in a bright red Rockets jersey, with the No. 12 on the chest. His right thumb is pointing up. A short time later, Howard tweeted his decision.
“I’ve decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets,” Howard wrote. “I feel it’s the best place for me and I am excited about joining the Rockets and I’m looking forward to a great season. I want to thank the fans in Los Angeles and wish them the best.”
General Manager Daryl Morey also broadcast his excitement via Twitter, writing: “Welcome to Houston @DwightHoward!!! Years of work by Dwight & Rockets went into this. This team is going to be special.”