Lakers' Center Dwight Howard to join Houston Rockets


Rumors of Howard's departure were reported Friday afternoon.

The Associated Press reports that a person familiar with the details says the Houston Rockets have been informed that Dwight Howard will sign with them.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak tweeted: "We have been informed of Dwight's decision to not return to the Lakers."

Within the hour, Howard tweeted: "I've decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets. I feel it's the best place for me."

He went on to say: "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."

In a statement, Kupchak said: "We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career."

USA Today first reported earlier Friday that Howard would join the Rockets, where he would join All-Star James Harden to give the Rockets a potentially potent inside-outside combination.

Dallas, Golden State and Atlanta were the other suitors interested in Howard.

ESPN is citing sources as saying the main reasons Howard left is because he doesn't like Coach Mike D'Antoni's system, thinks point guard Steve Nash is too old, and doesn't want to play in Kobe Bryant's shadow.

Bryant already "unfollowed" Howard on Twitter. He's instead honoring the teammate he won two championships with: Pau Gasol. Bryant posted a picture on Instagram of himself with his arm around Gasol. His caption, written in Spanish, said "let's go, together, heart."

The NBA schedule for next year will be released July 26. That's when we'll find out when Howard will make his return trip to Staples Center.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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