The Los Angeles Lakers had a team meeting last week where Kobe Bryant reportedly confronted Dwight Howard to ask if the big man did not like playing with him. The team lost its first game after the meeting, but they have won two in a row since then, including a victory over the defending Western Conference champion Thunder on Sunday. Howard must be in a good mood since then, because he now says he “loves” being confronted by Kobe.
“I love it,” Howard said Monday, per Mark Medina of the LA Daily News. “That’s something we needed. A lot of times we have a lot of guys come together and nobody wants to step on anybody’s toes or do anything against anybody else. We want to win. In order for us to win, we have to pull the best out of each other every night.”
Howard acknowledged that he and Kobe have “bumped heads” on the court. Howard says he is used to being the primary offensive option, but that he is finally adjusting to being lower in the team’s pecking order.
“We all know Kobe is the first option,” Howard said. “Whoever scores after that doesn’t matter. The defensive end is where I take lead and make sure I hold guys accountable and make sure do my job in being active.”
It’s no surprise to hear Howard admit he didn’t get along with Kobe on the court. The two reportedly nearly fought after a loss earlier this month, and Howard took some passive-aggressive shots at Kobe through the media afterward. Dwight didn’t even want to come to the Lakers because he was worried about sharing the ball and spotlight with Kobe. He even reportedly blocked a trade to the Lakers for that reason.
Even though Howard is now saying he loves Kobe being confrontational, we don’t believe him. Howard likes to joke around and wants everyone to love him. We doubt he’s enjoying himself this season, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave the Lakers after the season.
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