The Los Angeles Lakers have begun their offseason earlier than expected and after a first round exit, the team will have to make major changes during the summer. One of those decisions includes what to do with the unrestricted free agent Dwight Howard.
Howard has the ability to sign with any team he wants to this offseason and the Lakers will likely push hard in getting the center to stay in Los Angeles for the long-run. Howard’s view on the Lakers’ future and his relationship with Kobe Bryant will hold a lot of weight when he is choosing where to play next season.
Howard and Bryant were not on the same page at all times during the past season, and many people believe the two players cannot coexist. However, the Los Angeles Times writes that Bryant said his bond with Howard strengthened when the center visited his home.
“I think having Dwight come over at that time, really strengthened our bond. He went through a situation where his back surgery, he was all by himself,” Bryant said. “He had nobody there for him. I think he sees … me going through this and doesn’t want me to experience the same thing that he experienced. I see that, I understand that and I respect that. My love for him grew a lot that day.”
Bryant was sidelined with a serious Achilles injury, forcing him to miss the end of the regular season and the Lakers’ first round series. The pressure to win was on Howard and with no Bryant on the court, the team was riding on his shoulders. Sadly, the Lakers got swept by the San Antonio Spurs, and Howard added insult to injury by getting ejected.
There is a chance that this upcoming season will be Kobe Bryant’s last of his career, and keeping Howard for the long run can give the Lakers another superstar once Bryant calls it quits.
In case you missed it, check out Kobe Bryant’s exit interview.
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