The Houston Rockets, fresh off a Western Conference Finals appearance, have fallen into the abyss this season. They fired Kevin McHale mere weeks after the 2015-16 campaign began after a lackadaisical start, but the fire that should have been lit under them has been just a flicker. They’re currently seventh in the Western Conference with a sub-.500 (12-14) record through the season’s first quarter.
Their mediocre start took a turn for the worse when rumors leaked that Dwight Howard, once again, was unhappy with his team situation. Howard’s yearning for greener pastures is a recurring theme throughout his career, but he told USA Today that he wants stay in Houston:
“I chose to go to Houston (via free agency in the summer of 2013), so why would I just say, ‘I’m not happy’ and leave?” Howard, who is widely expected to become a free agent again this summer, told USA TODAY Sports. “I chose this place, you know what I’m saying? And I want to make this thing work here. Obviously we haven’t been playing great basketball, and personally for myself my numbers don’t seem like I’ve been playing great, but the only thing on my mind is trying to grow as a man and grow as a teammate and a leader.
Howard has a player option this offseason, and at 30 years old with recurring back problems, it would be wise for him to opt out and secure a long-term deal. His rhetoric supports his stay in Houston, but with Dwight, it’s always a wait and see approach.