Report: Hakeem Olajuwon, Yao Ming Help Rockets in Dwight Howard Recruiting Pitch


Dwight Howard, Johan PetroThe Houston Rockets are hoping Dwight Howard could be their next marquee big man, and they’re calling on the free-agent center’s potential predecessors to try and get him to sign with the Rockets.

Yahoo! Sports reports that Houston called on the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming to help in the recruiting process. The Rockets were the first team to meet with Olajuwon, and they had the likes of Olajuwon, Yao and another Rockets legend, Clyde Drexler, talk to Howard about the benefits of playing in Houston. They were far from alone, too, as Rockets owner Les Alexander, general manager Darryl Morey, head coach Kevin McHale and star players James Harden and Chandler Parsons all gave their pitches to the All-Star big man.

“Hakeem didn’t say much, but what he did say was very impactful,” according to a source cited in the Yahoo! report. Yao reportedly made his pitch via Skype.

The Rockets are expected to be just one of a handful of NBA teams interested in Howard’s services. According to the report, Howard will meet with Dallas, Golden State, Atlanta and the Lakers. Howard spent last season with the Lakers where he averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.

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