Dwight Howard Gets First-Rate Houston Rockets Pitch from Yao Ming via Skype

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJuly 1, 2013

The Dwight Howard sweepstakes have begun, bringing to the table every wild and zany pitch an NBA general manager can offer, which apparently includes a Skype message from former star Yao Ming

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports on the initial throes of what should be a fairly electric and melodramatic free-agency period, largely because it features star big man diva Dwight Howard. 

On his way from one huge contract to another, Howard took a meeting with the Houston Rockets at the Hotel Bel-Air, which I have to believe played out far more like a dinner date—with owner Les Alexander, GM Daryl Morey and coach Kevin McHale making themselves as desirable as possible. 

Well, they certainly pulled out all the stops: 

...the organization brought Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler to make cases to Howard about ownership's long commitment to winning and its relationships with its iconic players.

"Hakeem didn't say much, but what did he say was very impactful," one source in the room told Yahoo! Sports. 

Much has been made about how impressionable Howard can be, so a pitch with some legendary players had to resonate with the star who is chasing an NBA championship. 

The Rockets continued with a cameo only made possible by the day's technology: 

Yao Ming, another former great Rockets center, connected into the meeting from China through Skype and talked to Howard about his experiences with Houston.

The only unfortunate aspect of this report is we are left to imagine what transpired the minute someone busted out a laptop and showed a fuzzy Yao Ming pleading with Howard to head to Houston. 

I will assume the former Rockets star center wasn't holding a panda, because Howard would have signed immediately if he was. 

According to the report, the Rockets were rather proud of their initial date with Howard, because one agent claimed they are, "progressing on everything with Dwight in mind."

The superstar is scheduled to meet with the Mavericks, Warriors, Hawks and Lakers. Unless those teams have Yao on Skype, this race might be over. 


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