Houston Rockets: The 15 greatest centers of all-time

By Tevin Williams
Houston Rockets - Hakeem Olajuwon (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets - Hakeem Olajuwon (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

. Center. Dwight Howard. 6. 169.

Next up on the list is Clint Capela’s predecessor, Dwight Howard. Howard had a spectacular career with the Orlando Magic before eventually joining Houston. In 2010, Howard led the Magic to the NBAFinals where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.

In 2013, Howard left the Lakers after just one season and signed as a free agent with the Rockets. Now with two stars in James Harden and Howard, the Rockets were expected to make some noise in the postseason. Howard averaged 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in his first season in Houston, but the Rockets lost in the first round to the Portland Trail Blazers.

In the 2014-15 season, a knee injury caused Howard to miss 41 games. Houston made it to the Western Conference Finals that year, but they fell to the Golden State Warriors, who eventually won the 2015 championship.

In the 2015-16 season, Howard averaged just 13.7 points per game, the lowest scoring mark since his rookie season. The Rockets also won just 41 games and they lost in the first round to Golden State in five games. During that season, Howard wasn’t satisfied with the amount of touches that he received or his role in the offense and it was clear that his time in Houston had run its course.

Howard signed with his hometown Atlanta Hawks in 2016 before he was traded to the Charlotte Hornets the next summer. He signed with the Washington Wizards in July of 2018, where he’ll team up with John Wall and Bradley Beal and attempt to make a run in the Eastern Conference.

Howard is probably the least liked player on this list among Rockets fans, but he did put up solid numbers in Houston. He averaged 16.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in three seasons with the Rockets but his tenure was still disappointing. That tells you just how good Howard was in Orlando and it also shows how quickly injuries and a poor attitude can derail a player who was once widely believed to be the league’s best center.