The Rockets Daily – October 21, 2013

The Dark Dwight Rises – In his quest to redeem his career and win an NBA championship, Dwight Howard has looked for guidance from the ultimate winner: Michael Jordan Bill Russell the Batman. He tells his story to USA Today’s Sam Amick, (the same Sam Amick who scooped everyone on the Dwecision, and who has established himself this summer as the go-to writer on Dwight).

“I actually wrote (them) down and can tell it to you — it’s from Batman,” Howard tells USA TODAY Sports. “Batman and Alfred were having a discussion (in the 2012 Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises), and Batman didn’t like what was going on and he felt like the best thing he could do was just hide.

“Alfred told him, ‘You have to endure it. You have to take it. People will hate you for it, but that’s the point of being a legend. You can be that outcast. You can make the choice that no one else can make, and that’s the right choice.’ “

The choice to leave one of the NBA’s most storied franchises.

Actually the quote was from The Dark Knight (2oo8), and Howard had it almost word-for-word. A Batman movie helped get the summer’s top free agent to leave the Lakers and join the Rockets? It’s the nexus of all my favorite things! Consilience has been achieved.

But if you read on in Amick’s piece, it’s clear there were more practical thoughts going through Howard’s head than trying to achieve parallelism with the Caped Crusader:

“Other teams have more history, but yesterday’s scores don’t win today’s games,” he says. “You’ve got to look at the now. What’s in the now? What can we do now? Nobody cared about what I did eight years ago, they want to know what I can do now, and it’s the perfect team for me.”

The first sentence of that paragraph may be the wisest thing Howard has ever been quoted as saying. It also flies in the face of a lot of the conventional/popular wisdom of the sports world. What am I referring to?This week, all hell broke loose when Kobe Bryant came in no. 25 in ESPN rank. Twitter went ballistic, as did some pundits. The rankings reflect what can be expected of a man coming off an achilles tendon injury. The outrage reflects what Bryant has achieved in his career. Dwight Howard wasn’t going to be playing with Kobe Bryant’s Career. He was looking at playing with 35-year-0ld Kobe Bryant With a Torn Achilles. Alfred Pennyworth just gave him a nudge toward the most rational decision.

The More You Know – A couple notes from the Houston Chronicle:

Lowe Expectations – The Rockets ranked 10th in Bill Simmons’ and Zach Lowe’s League Pass Watchability Rankings. Their discussion ranged from Lowe’s remorse for how low he personally ranked Houston (15th), to total disdain for CSN Houston’s announcing crew (we love you, Glide), to another reminder of how historic the Harden trade was (it still factors into front-office decisions around the league). This exchange sums up Lowe’s contempt for Howard and Simmons’ love for…everything else:

Zach: I just can’t help it, and I don’t feel great about it. But, I mean, his ex-teammates happily tell stories about his devastating farts, and he actually praised the Magic for bringing his “favorite candies” to one negotiating session. And I lost it this week when he said he was upset the Magic let Tobias Harris have his old number (12). He actually compared James Harden to Courtney Lee in the same interview. It was really a tour de force in total lack of self-awareness. Wait, what were we talking about?

Bill: For the record, I ranked the Rockets no. 7 because of Harden, Parsons, Dwight in Eff You Mode (hopefully), Linsanity, McHale, DoMo, a beaming Dork Elvis … I mean, you had me at Harden.

Yes, the fact that Bill Simmons thinks Howard might have an Eff You Mode is the most surprising thing I read all weekend.

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About the author: John Eby got on the Rockets bandwagon in 1994 and never got off. He is a public relations guy and recovering TV journalist living in South Carolina.

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