Rockets center Dwight Howard expressed his frustration with the Magic for allowing someone to wear his old No. 12. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard expressed his frustration this week about Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris wearing his No. 12, according to a report from Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
Howard, who left the Magic for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012, said that after Orlando acquired Harris in a deadline deal last February, he was disappointed to learn that the franchise he helped lead to an NBA Finals would allow Harris to wear his old number, saying he thought his number "was special down there."
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"I just think that despite whatever happened, there was a lot of things that I did and that we did as a team, and that number was special down there. And I was a little bit upset about that."
As Robbins points out, Howard, who subsequently left the Lakers for the Rockets this past offseason, likely didn't know that Harris had wanted to wear the No. 12 as a tribute to a friend who had passed away of leukemia at the age of 17.
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Harris, who has emerged as a double-double threat for the Magic, will face Howard and the Rockets on Wednesday night in Houston.