If you've experienced bouts of Dwight Howard withdrawal in the aftermath of his much anticipated free-agent decision, fear not. The Houston Rockets have you covered, especially if you take the commute on Route 59.
Too much? A little tacky?
Maybe a tad. You'll find it adorning the side of Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, but it also might be visible from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere if you look in the right direction.
Howard chose the Rockets on July 5 from a short list of five suitors that included the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and his former team, the LA Lakers. He'll earn $88 million over four years, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Though the decision was accompanied by no shortage of suspense, it moved quickly once Howard had the chance to meet with team reps. Houston couldn't offer as much salary as Los Angeles by rule, but it was clear that he was interested in something beyond money.
Boasting head coach Kevin McHale and Hakeem Olajuwon's legendary post skills, Houston seemed like a natural fit. The franchise could elevate Howard's game, and he stands to do plenty for the Rockets. So it's no surprise Houston is still making the most of its honeymoon phase with Howard and letting him know what he means to the city.
It's a fitting gesture to commemorate a partnership that will endure for...well, as long as Howard is still into it.
As for the aesthetic, we'll go with an incomplete grade. My only beef with the presentation is the stenciled lettering. If font inventors were to invent a new one using nothing but the worst fonts in history, this is what they'd come up with. Just looking at it made Howard's image sneeze.
Seriously, doesn't it look like he's about to sneeze?
Harden's expression speaks volumes on its own. I interpret it to mean: "Hey Dwight, are you about to sneeze? Could you do it not facing me? Thanks." He also might be wondering what possessed Howard to stick with the headband. It didn't look great in purple, and red is certifiably elfish.
The important takeaway, of course, is the message: "H"-Town. Whether that says it all, it's definitely all it says.
To fans, it's a sign of hope. To general managers everywhere, it's proof that other GMs will spend two years moving heaven and earth for just one player. To Harden, it's a giant picture of his beard—with some other stuff off to the side. To the Lakers fan in all of us, it's a lot more effort than just photo-shopping and tweeting.
And to Howard, of course, it's an all-important reminder of which team he happens to be playing for at the moment.