By JULIE TAKAHASHI, SportsRadio 610

Houston (CBS Houston)- The Houston Rockets were showing off all their new “toys” Friday at Media Day.

One being their new “digital” locker room (SEE ABOVE) and the other being newly acquired All-Star center Dwight Howard.

Howard signed a four-year, $88 million deal with the Rockets this summer after being traded from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers last summer and staying with that Laker team for one season.

“I allowed the bad stuff that happen to really sit in my head and I pushed myself away from people in different situations and that’s not who I am,” Howard said. “You have to stay away from that negativity and just focus on the task at hand.”

You can sit with Howard for just a moment and see that he’s happy to be in Houston with new opportunities and just trying to do everything he can to contribute and be a member of this team.

“It’s a close-knit team,” Howard smiled. “The chemistry is already there. We spent time with each other and we’ve been texting and talking about ways we can improve as a team and that’s one thing I really like.”

What a difference a year makes. Last year in the off-season Howard was having back surgery, this off-season Rockets head coach Kevin McHale and Hall of Famer and former Rocket center Hakeem Olajuwon are helping Howard with his game.

“The biggest things they want me to do is not use more power so much all the time but use my speed and quickness to get around guys and finish over the top,” Howard said Friday.

Last season was the first time since 2009 that the Rockets reached the playoffs.

“We all have the same goal, which is just to win a championship,” Howard said. “And we understand that it’s not going to be easy. There are a lot of great teams in the West but we have an opportunity to do something special if we stay together and focused for the whole season.”

(Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Follow Julie Takahashi on Twitter: @Julie_Takahashi



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