Taipei, Aug. 19 (CNA) Visiting Houston Rockets star Dwight Howard said Monday that he has no problem playing at the power forward position if his team wants to put him in the starters with the current starting center Omer Asik.
"There is no need to adjust. I have been playing basketball for my whole life. I started it up playing a point guard," the NBA star told reporters at a press conference to welcome his third visit to Taiwan.
"I think it can make our team tougher. We need [me] being as a power forward some games and Asik being a center. We will have a big lineup, and it will be tough for teams to truly score," the 27-year-old center said.
"You have two guys to play great defense in the paint. So I think it is positive, and it is no conflict," he added.
Howard's comments came in response to Aug. 16 reports that Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey and team coach Kevin McHale want to experiment with Howard as power forward and Omer Asik as center in training camp.
Asik has said he prefers to be a starter, and the Rockets have said they will not trade the 7-foot-tall Turkish center, who averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game last season -- all of which were career highs.
Howard, a former Los Angeles Laker who was signed by the Rockets in the off-season as a free agent, was ranked 12th on the most-mentioned-athletes list on ESPN's SportsCenter over the past year.
He was warmly welcomed earlier Monday when he arrived at Taipei International (Songshan) Airport by fans who packed the arrival lobby.
In Taiwan to promote a limited edition of Howard-autographed athletic shoes, Howard is making his third visit to Taiwan.
He plans to attend a promotional event on Tuesday before heading to Taipei's Xinyi District to formally unveil the new Adidas 101 basketball park and its outdoor basketball court just across from Taipei 101, one of the world's tallest skycrapers.
During his stay in Taiwan, Howard said he is looking forward to going shrimp fishing with his new teammate Jeremy Lin, who is hosting a three-day basketball camp in Taipei with another Rocket, Chandler Parsons.
(By Jeffrey Wu)
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