One of the most delicate balances when it comes to running an NBA franchise is catering to your star players to make them happy while also making sure that the star isn’t the one running the team. If you stop listening to what your star wants, he could quit on the team. If you give him everything that he wants, you’ve lost control of the organization.
This delicate balance is one that the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers have failed to find with Dwight Howard. It’s also the balance that the Houston Rockets will have the dubious honor of trying to find with Dwight this season.
There’s obviously not a lot of reason for Howard to be unhappy in Houston, at least initially. He’s playing with one of the best young players in the league in James Harden along with a slew of talented role players like Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin. The only possible point of contention could be if they ask him to run the pick-and-roll, something Dwight resisted with the Lakers last season.
However, the worst thing that the Rockets could do is allow Dwight to call the shots in Houston. They can’t allow him to resist the pick-and-roll like he did in L.A.; they can’t allow him to act like a prima-donna about the coaching like he did in Orlando. They need to make sure the All-Star center is happy, but the Rockets coaches and general manager Daryl Morey have to make sure that Howard knows that this is their team and not Dwight’s. If they don’t operate in that way and get Howard to buy into it, this could wind up being another Dwight Howard related debacle.
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