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Rockets introduce new center Howard

The SportsXchange

The Houston Rockets formally introduced center Dwight Howard at a press conference in Houston on Saturday.

Howard's main message was that he is looking forward to making a "fresh start" after signing a four-year, $88 million contract earlier this week.

Former Rockets -- Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon and center Yao Ming -- were on hand for Howard's signing.

"This is a great opportunity, a great feeling to be here, to have a fresh start," Howard said. "I made this decision for me. I want to be happy. If you can't be happy when you're playing, it's not fun. I want to get back to being that guy who was playing and having fun but at the same time dominating.

"If we dedicate ourselves and sacrifice everything we've got for a championship, at the end of the season we should be holding up a trophy."

Howard left the Los Angeles Lakers after just one year. He took one year and $30 million less than what the Lakers could have offered to be with the Rockets. He played the first eight years of his career with the Orlando Magic.

"He's going to be phenomenal," owner Leslie Alexander said.

The Rockets are coming off their first playoff appearance since 2009. Howard joins co-star James Harden on a team that could potentially rise in the West.

Howard battled shoulder and back injuries to average 17.1 points, a league-best 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game last season. For his career, he has averaged 18.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
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