In the offseason, Dwight Howard made his decision to part ways with the Houston Rockets after three seasons. Since then, there has been much said as to why he chose to leave. In a recent report from ESPN”s Tim McMahon, it appears that James Harden may have played a large part of it after all.
Former Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff resisted complying with the wishes of general manager Daryl Morey and owner Leslie Alexander regarding a drastic reduction in Howard’s playing time. Team sources said Alexander never participated in the meetings with Morey and Bickerstaff but fully supported the general manager’s plan to prioritize [Clint] Capela’s development.
League sources said input from face-of-the-franchise James Harden heavily influenced Houston management’s desire to decrease Howard’s minutes. However, team sources insisted that Harden was not involved in those discussions.
Howard had voiced much disgruntlement over his lessened offensive role. If Harden is indeed the reason, it only adds validity to why the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year picked up and went elsewhere. He felt that he was bein underutilized by the Rockets that may have ultimately led to his decision to leave.
It’s obvious that neither player has a great standing relationship during that time and even more so now. Howard has an opportunity to rekindle his NBA career as the face of the franchise for his hometown Atlanta Hawks. All in all, this is likely all water under the bridge.