MANILA, Philippines – If the Houston Rockets go on to land the biggest free agent in the market in Dwight Howard, expect the All-Star center’s Rockets debut to happen here when they play the Indiana Pacers in the first ever NBA Preseason game to be held in the country and Southeast Asia.
NBA country manager Carlo Singson said that every player in the two teams’ roster by October 10 is expected to play at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. And that lineup may include the 2004 top overall pick if he chooses to join forces with Rockets’ star guard James Harden.
“If [Howard] is with the Houston Rockets at that time, he will be here as well as anyone [included] in the roster. Barring any injuries,” assured Singson during the ‘100 day countdown’ to the NBA Global Games press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Reports had it that Howard, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, is also being heavily recruited by the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers, who even put up billboards to convince the center to stay in LA.
Singson also hopes that NBA legend Larry Bird, who is back with the Pacers as the team’s president for basketball operations, will be able to join his team’s trip.