Friday, July 19, 2013
The Dwight Howard Timeline
July 5: Howard agrees to a free-agent contract with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets immediately remain a playoff contender.
July 6: Stan Van Gundy tells Houston coach Kevin McHale to keep his friends close, and his enemies closer.
July 8: Kobe Bryant un-follows Howard on Twitter. Bryant's parents announce plans to auction Howard's belongings to the highest bidder.
July 18-22: Howard and Dennis Rodman embark on a goodwill mission to North Korea, where they meet with supreme leader and avid NBA fan Kim Jong-un. The dictator talks politics and basketball, and pitches a new reality show, "Full Court Oppression."
Howard returns to the States and urges President Obama to lift the economic sanctions crippling the North Koreans. Several headlines the following day read "Dwight Howard Demands Trade."
July 25: Howard begins a week-long training session with Hakeem Olajuwon to learn the legend's fade away jump shot. After two days of little to no progress, a frustrated Howard gives up and opts for a comparable haircut.
August 1: Skechers, in direct violation of an injunction from adidas, introduces their own Dwight Howard sneaker, called "Skips," the shoes "made for walking."
August 31: Howard launches his new charity, "D12 Step Program," which, much like its Alcoholics Anonymous namesake, advocates quitting.
September 25: Howard and Charles Barkley play a round of golf at Pebble Beach as guests of Tiger Woods. After a 35 over round, Howard looks on as Barkley and Woods are stopped by a sheriff and ticketed for speeding in their golf cart on their way to a rendezvous with a prostitute.
October 6: Howard throws out the first pitch at Game 1 of the Atlanta Braves division series match against the Pittsburgh Pirates. True to his recent free throw percentages, it takes him two throws to hit the target.
October 28: On the eve of the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, ESPN releases a "30 For 30" special chronicling the inside story of Howard's arrival and hasty departure from the Lakers organization. The broadcast, titled "To Leave and Say 'Bye' in L.A." is narrated by Willem Dafoe and later earns an Emmy Award for best sports documentary.
October 29: In his first regular-season game as a Rocket, Howard and James Harden combine for 58 points in a 121-114 loss to the Clippers. Harden's 55 points are the most by a Rocket since Calvin Murphy's 57 in 1978.
December 8: Howard celebrates his birthday with a triple-double against the Charlotte Bobcats, scoring 31 points, grabbing 18 rebounds, and adding 10 blocks.
December 25: The Lakers shock the Rockets 132-130 in three overtimes, as Kobe Bryant drops 45 and hammers a rim-shaking dunk over Howard to seal the win. Bryant gets in Howard's face, but Howard simply smiles, and unable to say 'scoreboard,' says 'standings' instead, which lists the Rockets 13 games better than the Lakers.
December 31: Howard celebrates New Year's Eve at Carmelo Anthony's lavish New York City gala and fundraiser for NBA players suffering from testicular cancer called "The New Year's Eve Ball For Ballin' Ballers' Balls."
January 31: After scoring 11 points and grabbing 26 rebounds in a 113-103 win over the Mavericks in Dallas, Howard rushes to Cowboys Stadium for the Royal Rumble, where he interferes in the 30-man rumble, subsequently costing John Cena a title shot at WrestleMania.
February 2: Howard steps outside and sees his shadow, which, unfortunately for the Rockets, means they will see six more weeks of Howard as a shadow of his former self.
February 15: Howard dons a cape for the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in New Orleans, adds a top hat, waves a magic wand, and makes celebrity judge Kanye West disappear, much to the delight of a Big Easy crowd.
March 14: After butting heads in the first quarter with Indiana's Roy Hibbert in a 108-99 loss to the Pacers, Howard leaves the game with concussion-like symptoms. TNT's Shaquille O'Neal quips that the "ringing" in Howard's ears may just be the closest he comes to an NBA title.
May 16: The Rockets' season comes to an end when the Thunder win game 5 to close out the Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals 4-1. A devastated Howard holds a players-only meeting in which he guarantees the Rockets will win the NBA title, assuming he's still a Rocket.