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Rockets Express Support As Asik Returns

HOUSTON - Rockets center Omer Asik returned to practice Monday afternoon after not playing the last two games. The perpetually media shy 27-year-old did not speak to the press afterward, but his teammates weighed in on the subject of his return, expressing their support and the satisfaction felt while seeing him back on the floor.

What follows are some of the sentiments expressed by Dwight Howard, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons immediately following today’s workout:

Dwight Howard

“We’re trying to accomplish something great here and everybody has to be all-in. That’s the one thing we’ve discussed from day one. There’s going to be some hard times, there’s going to be some adversity, but we’ve got to stick together. We can’t let small things affect our chemistry as a team and we’ve got to have each other’s back.”

“He apologized for it and we have to move on. We can’t dwell on it. We can’t make it an issue. Like I said, we have to love him at the point where he is now and keep on loving him. It’s a tough situation and we all have to be understanding and empathize with him and keep moving forward.”

“We all have to be professional, go out here and practice hard, compete against each other and then go into the game and do what we have to do. We have a whole city that is behind us so we can’t let small things affect us. We all have to sacrifice something.

“Winning a championship is not about one person; it’s about a team. In order to do that you have to sacrifice; everybody has to be on the same page and understand that some guys are going to get more attention that others – that’s just the way this sport is and you can’t focus on that. We want to win a championship and 20 years from now, when you look on the trophy it won’t say one person’s name – it will just say Houston Rockets. That’s what we want and that’s our motivation.”

Jeremy Lin

“It’s great (to have Asik back). He’s a big-time rim protector, big-time defender, big-time rebounder and he’s a big part of what we’re trying to do so we’re just happy he’s back.”

“Our job is to support him. No one can really know what he’s going through against him. It’s easy to be on the outside and just make statements or come to conclusions, but our job is to support him as much as we can, talk to him and try to keep his spirits up.”

Chandler Parsons

“I’m happy (to have Asik back). We can use him and obviously he’s been a big part of our team – he had a great year last year. Like I said before, I understand his frustrations and how it would be difficult – he wants to play. But he’s here, he’s on the Rockets , so he should be practicing with us and playing with us and trying to help us win games.”

“I’m not (just) his teammate, I’m his friend so I’m talking to him and telling him that we need him and want him. I understand where he’s coming from but at the end of the day, be a professional, come to work every day and handle your business.

“I just try to be a friend in this situation and be there for him and talk him through it, but I’ve never been through what he’s going through so I’m not some genius or anything, but just trying to be helpful any way I can and keep supporting him.”