Coming off the heels of a tumultuous season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013, Dwight Howard was one of the most coveted free agents in the NBA. Many teams lobbied for Howard’s services, but the Houston Rockets were able to pry Howard away from that Laker lure by some top-notch recruiting from then-Rocket Chandler Parsons in addition to selling him on a roster centered around James Harden.
Parsons and Howard had bonded and become great friends during the 2013-14 regular season, but they were forced to severe their basketball ties when Parsons inked a lucrative three-year, $46 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer.
Ironically, the Rockets and Mavericks are now on a collision-course, slated to meet-up in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs. So when Howard Chen of CBS Houston asked Dwight Howard about the possibility of the Parsons storyline fluffing the series up, this is what he had to say:
“He’s the enemy,” Dwight Howard said of Parsons. “We’re still going to be friends and we’re still going to kick it in the summer, but right now, him and his team are trying to end our season. And that’s our mentality – we’re not going to let anybody end our season, so we’ve got to go out there and dominate from the first game and send a message.”
This series has all the makings of a classic Western Conference showdown. The inner-state rivalry definitely spices things up, and then you have Jason Terry looking to take down the team he captured an NBA championship with in 2011, the whole Parsons aspect and Harden looking to finally advanced past the first round as a Rocket. Add in the prospect of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban trading jabs with Rockets GM Daryl Morey over Twitter (that would be great) and you have the potential to see sparks fly.
This series will be a dandy.