We know that wherever Dwight Howard chooses to play for the next four or five seasons, despite what he may try to put out there publicly at this point, the decision will be about more than just basketball.
Howard was said to be intrigued by the Lakers not only due to having the immediate opportunity to win there, but also because Los Angeles is a major media market, and the center of the universe where the entertainment industry is concerned.
It’s been said more than once that Howard’s interests in exploring personal marketing opportunities outside of basketball will be almost as important as the roster he’s surrounded with next season, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the two teams favored to to land Dwight in free agency are including that piece as a part of their respective presentations to him in free agency.
The Rockets made their pitch to Howard Sunday night, and of course, it went well — as if they’d say otherwise. Besides trotting out team legends like Yao Ming and Trail Blazers great Clyde Drexler (who played a whopping three and a half of his 15 NBA seasons in Houston), the organization included a local cable television opportunity as part of its package.
According to a source familiar with Dwight’s meeting w/ HOU, the Rockets discussed TV opportunities for DH on Comcast SportsNet Houston
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 2, 2013
The Lakers, naturally, will do the same when they sit down to get the last word in with Howard on Tuesday.
Besides Kobe, Nash, Kupchak and Jim Buss, reps from Time Warner will also be in the meeting with Howard Tuesday.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2013
Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles televises all Lakers home and away games, and fills the vast majority of its programming — seriously, it has to be north of 80 percent — with studio shows or behind-the-scenes, documentary-style footage of the team throughout the season.
Like the billboard campaign the Lakers have been widely mocked for, this is just another piece of the puzzle in terms of what courting Howard requires. And it’s one that both L.A. and Houston are wise not to overlook when engaging in those final discussions.