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Will the third team be a charm for newly signed Rocket Dwight Howard? Here are some fun facts to welcome Howard to Houston:

  • The total area of Houston is so large it could contain the cities of New York, Boston, and San Francisco combined.
  • Howard will be in good company if his rigorous NBA schedule keeps him too busy to cook. H-Town residents eat out more times a week than folks in any other American city.
  • Houston is home to the world’s largest livestock show. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo attracts more than 2.2 million visitors each year.
  • When the Apollo 11 moon lander touched down, Neil Armstrong said, “Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed,” making “Houston” the first word said on the moon. And Houston’s official nickname is appropriately “Space City.”
  • Dwight won’t get bored during the off-season. Houston is one of only five cities with professional resident companies in all four major performing arts disciplines: the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Ballet and The Alley Theatre. Located downtown, the 17-block Theater District is home to eight performing arts organizations. With 12,948 seats for live performances and 1,580 movie seats, it’s second only to NYC as far as its concentration of seats in one area.

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Karl Malone is the only player to reach the NBA Finals three times without winning a ring since 1980.

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* On March 17th, 1939 the first NCAA tournament game in history tipped off at the Palestra in Pennsylvania. The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Brown Bears, 42-30.

* On March 17th, 1989 Alonzo Mourning blocked two shots in the last six seconds of the game to permit No. 1 seed Georgetown to avoid an upset at the hands of #16-seed Princeton, 50-49.

* The patron saint of Ireland St. Patrick was born in Scotland in the year 387.

* Blue was the color originally associated with Saint Patrick, but over the years the color green’s affiliation with Saint Patrick’s Day grew. Now it’s common to sport green attire and to drink green beer in celebration of St. Paddy’s.

* Paddy is derived from the Irish male name Pádraig.

* NYC’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade has become the largest in the world. In a typical year, 150,000 marchers participate in it, and 2 million spectators line the streets.

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On January 22, 2006 Kobe Bryant lit up the Staples Center scoreboard like a supernova when he racked up a career-high 81 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 122-104 win over the Toronto Raptors. The future Hall-of-Famer’s record-making performance goes down as the second-highest number of points scored by an individual player in NBA history. Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain set the NBA’s single game scoring record with his 100-point bonanza against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962.

Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

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Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1968 NBAE - Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images

Dick Van Ardsdale #5 of the Phoenix Suns moves the ball during a game played in 1968 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Along with the Milwaukee Bucks, the Phoenix Suns were one of two franchises to join the NBA at the start of the 1968–69 season, thereby becoming the first major pro sports franchise in the state of Arizona.

In 43 years of play Phoenix made the playoffs 29 times, posted nineteen seasons of 50 or more wins, made nine trips to the Western Conference Finals and advanced to the NBA Finals in 1976 and 1993.

Victorious in 56% of their games, the Suns owned the NBA’s fourth-best all-time winning percentage as of the end of the 2010–11 season.

Based on their all-time win-loss percentage, the Suns are the winningest franchise to have never won an NBA Championship.