After Dwight Howard left for Houston, people began to start asking why. Many wondered what would inspire Howard to leave $30 million on the table and a chance to play in the league’s most glamorous market for Houston, TX. Well, now it turns out that one of the big causes may have been Kobe Bryant’s unwillingness to coddle Howard.
In the latest column from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, more details from Bryant’s involvement in the team’s recruitment process of Howard have been leaked. And, not surprisingly, Kobe wasn’t very fond of all the fun and games Howard was having in the Laker locker room.
Bryant had come to rage against the idea that Howard’s clownish disposition could overtake the locker room, the Lakers’ culture, and had warned Howard that he would never, ever let it happen. He hated it with Shaquille O’Neal, but Shaq performed on a championship plane for the Lakers and delivered a disposition to dominate on the floor.
This isn’t exactly breaking news, as people have long known that Kobe’s steely demeanor clashed somewhat with Howard’s bubbling, childish behavior. But Bryant wasn’t about to let Howard get his way on Kobe’s team, and reportedly spoke to Howard in a way he wasn’t accustomed to.
“Kobe talked to Dwight in a way that I don’t think anyone one had ever talked to him – not in Orlando, not here, not in his life, I’m betting,” one witness in the room told Yahoo! Sports. “He’s been coddled, and Kobe wasn’t going to coddle him.”
In reality, this was probably a major factor in Dwight’s decision. Howard has been praised his entire life as a basketball prodigy. Not many people close to him have criticized him, for fear of alienating a major basketball star (and potentially a paycheck down the road). Kobe, who isn’t going to sugarcoat anything, reportedly told Howard how things would still be his show once Dwight re-signs, and it sounds like Dwight wasn’t going to jump on board with that.
In the end, the obvious disconnect between Bryant and Howard could have been a big reason Howard left Los Angeles.
Of course, if you ask former Laker Shaquille O’Neal, it was something else. But who’s counting?
Did you see our video about Dwight Howard leaving the Lakers? If not, check out our video below and don’t forget to click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!