Sunday night into Monday, the Houston Rockets are meeting with Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, in the hopes of luring the seven-time All-Star from the mountainous shores of the Pacific Ocean, 1,400 miles east, to the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico. Houston will be the first organization to pitch their services to Howard, followed by the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, and Howard’s most recent club, the Lakers. All meetings will take place in Howard’s current home turf of Los Angeles.
iFolloSports.com has learned that during their business trip to LA, the Rockets’ brain trust are basing themselves at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Above is an iFolloSports.com original photo of NBA legend/Houston icon Clyde Drexler, as he made his way through the luxury hotel lobby, shortly before 6 p.m. PT Sunday. Drexler, who had just arrived in LA from a trip to Taiwan, headed across the street to the Two Rodeo shopping and dining complex, after saying hello to some well wishers at the hotel’s front entrance.
Clyde the Glide is part of the Houston recruiting delegation that also includes head coach Kevin McHale, owner Leslie Alexander, president Tad Brown, general manager Daryl Morey, NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon (greatest player in Rockets’ history), as well as current players James Harden and Chandler Parsons. Parsons, in particular, was very visible throughout Beverly Hills on Sunday.
Sources indicate that a portion of the Rockets’ meeting with Howard is taking place at the nearby Hotel Bel-Air, located three miles from the Beverly Wilshire.
With the Rockets reportedly standing as the leading candidate to land Howard’s services, it appears as if the organization is doing everything possible to seal the deal. As a result of the collective bargaining agreement, the Rockets can offer Howard a four-year/$88 million contract (along with all of the other teams besides the Lakers), while LA can pony up a five-year package, worth $118 million.