Dwight Howard moved to the Atlanta Hawks this 2016 offseason after a troubled stint with the Houston Rockets. NBA rumors before he left the Texas team were that he had a major rift with their franchise player James Harden.
Howard confirmed that there was some tension between the two veterans and that it affected the Rockets’ performance as a team last season.
“It wasn’t as good as it needed to be for us to succeed. But looking back on it, there’s really nothing we can do about it now,” Howard said via “Mike & Mike” on ESPN.
Howard, who signed a four-year deal worth $70.5 million with the Hawks this summer, also admitted that he wanted to be part of Houston’s offensive sets but was not given much opportunity to do so.
“No doubt. I know what I’m capable of. It wasn’t like I came in asking for the ball on every possession,” Howard added confirming the rumors that he was not happy with his role with Houston last season.
Howard now joins an Atlanta team that has lost Al Horford in free agency. Howard will be assuming Horford’s starting center spot and will be one of the featured players both on offense and defense. Other key players in the line-up are Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore.
Harden is the Rockets’ franchise player with averages of 29.0 points and 19.7 shots per game last season. From the start, a Howard and Harden combination was criticized as a bad move for Houston.
Howard averaged 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 71 regular season games for the Rockets last year. In the 2016 NBA Playoffs, the veteran big man averaged 13.2 points, 14.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 5 postseason games.
However, Howard was constantly in NBA rumors as the reports of rift with Harden blew up during the season.
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