Dwight Howard tweeted his decision to join Houston Rockets and thanked the fans in Los Angeles. The over 20 months of speculation is officially over.
"I've decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets," Howard tweeted. "I feel its 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."
Late Friday evening, Howard had changed his twitter avatar to him wearing a Rockets uniform.
Howard informed all the teams in the running of his decision one at a time, with the Lakers coming later in the day.
"We have been informed of Dwight's decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we're disappointed," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. "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. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career."
Having played for only one season with Los Angeles Lakers, Howard has entered the summer unsure of what he might do because of the poor Lakers season. Moreover, his partnership with Laker’s star Kobe Bryant has its conflicts.
The five teams that took turns persuading Howard to join them include Rockets, Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks.
After graduating from Southwest Christian Academy in 2004, Howard was drafted as the overall number one draft pick and he took the Orlando Magic from 21 wins the season before to 36 wins in his rookie season.
Starting from 2006, Howard was responsible for carrying the Magic on a run of six straight playoff appearances that included the NBA Finals loss to the Lakers in 2009 and a Conference Finals loss to the Boston Celtics in 2010.
He has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards and was known as the best center in the game.