Quote the Mamba, Nevermore: Kobe Tells Dwight, Man Up or Ship Out

Quote the Mamba, Nevermore: Kobe Tells Dwight, Man Up or Ship Out


Kobe and DwightThat’s the last time the Lakers tell Kobe Bryant, “Want to come with us to try to sign ____?” Bryant was part of the delegation that met with Dwight Howard in what may have been Dwight’s Laker farewell. If Howard expected a continutation of the three-day prostrate-a-thon by officials from the other four teams on his list, he was now sitting across from the wrong Mamba.

“You need to learn how it’s done first, and I can teach you here,” Bryant said, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, quoting witnesses in the room. “I know how to do it and I’ve learned from the best–players who have won multiple times over and over. Instead of trying to do things your way, just listen and learn and tweak it, so it fits you.”

In other words, man up, join in or ship out.

My money’s on “ship out.” That roar you heard was air rushing out of the Laker dirigible.

Howard has since fled, er, withdrawn to Aspen, Colo., for peace and reflection. Teams calling up to re-schmooze him were told Dwight wants to shut it down and get on with making up his mind.

Next time you see him will be in whose jersey?

Houston officials came away thinking they’re the clear leader. Dallas owner Mark Cuban was trying to bag Josh Smith, to lure his pal, Dwight. Golden State has an offer the Lakers may like—a 2014 No. 1, an expiring contract and Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson—which means nothing unless Dwight wants to play for the Warriors.

Having watched Bryant hold his tongue for months, I’d guess it went like this:

Publicly supportive, Bryant privately bristles at having to win a guy over who doesn’t want to be here. By season’s end, however, they establish a cordial relationship with Howard effusive in praise of Bryant, even going to him for advice.

Unfortunately for all concerned, Kobe’s injury changes all equations. Once the Lakers were the percentage play for Howard with Bryant and the extra $30 million. Now Dwight can play alongside James Harden, who’s 23, or Kobe, who’ll be 35, coming off Achilles surgery and hoping to be ready–or ready as he ever will be again–by the opener.

(Alternate theory: Howard, who loves being loved and can’t endure being ignored, had already decided to leave.)

Bryant bristles anew as the Rockets, Mavericks, Hawks and Warriors queue up to woo Howard, while Lakerdom divides into those begging Dwight to stay–including the Laker organization which puts up Orlando Magic v Los Angeles Lakersmurals and billboards–fans who rail at the groveling, and, of course, fans who want to grovel as far as it takes to fire Mike D’Antoni.

Everywhere else, of course, starting across the tracks in Clipper Nation, it’s the pratfall of the ages.

A Laker, or, at least, this Laker, can only take so much. When their turn comes, Bryant gives Howard a manly invitation to stay, both barrels in the chest.

It doesn’t matter that no one else in the organization would have gone as far. Bryant, who is effectively the organization, has just stood up for the Laker Way, for the days when no one had to sell Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaq or Kobe, himself, on being here, before banners and #StayD12 hashtags.

Quoth the Mamba, if you didn’t want to be a Laker, nevermore.

Actually, Dwight has never looked sure he wanted to be here from his first press conference when he wouldn’t even say something polite and non-binding like “I hope to stay,” as he had in Orlando… where he never planned to stay.

When the ballyhooed Lakes thudded out of the gate, fans began looking at Howard–coming off back surgery–like, “where’s the beef?” In Lakerdom, where defeat is supposed to be intolerant, his ready smile, expressing the child-like joy he had vowed never to lose, was wrong. For Dwight, who lives for adoration and attention, it was a long way from Orlando.

If he was already half-way out the door, it would explain his run-ins with teammates, even the pacific Steve Nash, and his laughable problems with basics, like running a pick-and-roll with Nash, and worse, being unable to learn to run a pick-and-roll with Nash.

Not that Howard has left yet. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

On the other hand, if the days he leaves is the day the Lakers will know it was over before it began.


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  • Andrew Shalat

    It should be “Quoth” not “Quote”.

    • Spartan

      Thank you.. I was just about to type that!

      • thelostboyscout

        that’s all you got out of this article? lol feel bad for you

        • Spartan

          Not exactly. The fact that this article means more to you than understanding the difference between Quote or Quoth tells me a lot about you. I guess you support the idea of giving free rides through college for people who can dribble the ball up and down the court with a 2.5 GPA requirement. But, burden the nerds working in the labs with high interest rate loans. <— (These people revolutionize industries that create future jobs!!!)
          So NO "hommie", I FEEL BAD FOR YOU!! Do you have another question to "aks" (ask) me?

          • thelostboyscout

            wow, it gets worse. so is it also incorrect that the writer uses ‘mamba’ rather than ‘raven’ in the article title? communication is more about understanding than it is about using words that reflect a deeper vocabulary. if you have the vocabulary but can’t communicate, then it really doesn’t do you any good, does it?
            basically, the writer made a simple error – which was probably auto corrected in the first place. but rather than focus on the article itself, you chose to go after a typo. lol.
            and yes, i could care less about the high interest rate loans you lab nerds took. if you were stupid enough to take the loan, you should be held responsible for making the payments. i didnt take out any loans for my bs, and am working on my ms loan free as well.

  • Joey Francia

    Make this Trade Golden State has an offer the Lakers may like—a 2014 No. 1, an expiring contract and Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson—which means nothing unless Dwight wants to play for the Warriors.

  • Rarthadys

    I knew this would happen, ain’t no way Kobe and the rest of the Lakers legends going to stand to this crap.

  • jack

    Love Kobe but he acts like he doesn’t need other good players on the roster except pau’s old ass to win these days smh. Lets be realistic, the quote sounds cool and all, but he’s not helping his chances of winning ring 6 & 7 at all. He’s not just turning dwight away, but any good free agents with talent who the lakers might have been able to get in the near future. As great as he is and has been, Kobe is slowly but surely becoming an enigma for the franchise.

    • Paytc

      Your just kidding right?Kobe is the leader of the Lakers.He doesn’t want anyone on this team that doesn’t want to be on the team.What Kobe is saying is just be a man with your current teammates.That is the least Dwight or any other teammate should do.Just give us a heads up.Obviously Howard knows already what he plans to do.The Lakers have won championships without Howard.Lakers are trying to give Howard the chance to win one with the Lakers.Howard may indeed be one of the best centers in the game,but teams are playing well and winning championships without Howard,or any so call superstar center.Kobe was one of the first people reaching out to Howard wanting him to return.Now Kobe wants to be the first to know what the baby is deciding to do.Totally reasonable from one superstar to the next.

    • Jokobe

      You smoking crack jack. Kobe of course wants #6 and more, but there are some things you gotta do and somethings you don’t do. He just ain’t the type to suck dick to get him a ring.

      • Jack

        Making 30 million at 34 and handicapping management with the new luxury tax rules and chasing the best center in the league out if town isnt smart, period. How you personally feel about kobe and dwight aside, Dwight has a real shot at getting players to come play in la in the near future, not too many young upcoming stars want to play with someone like kobe unless you’re a role player or willing to suck His dick because of all the extras you have to put up with. I have no reason to ridicule Kobe and his legacy, Im actually wearing a kobe jersey now. Its cool to be an alpha dog on the court, but lets be realistic. Kobe has never been a good teammate when the cameras are off unless your name ends with gasol. It plays a major factor. The lakers have to become attractive to play for again, and without dwight, kobe being verbal as ever, and dantoni there still? Eh. By not getting dwight to stay is not helping the lakers now or later. I’m no kobe hater but ive gotten my head out of my ass enough to understand kobe is only gonna be there for only a couple more years it makes NO sense for him to be running talent like dwight out of La because he feels he knows best. I saw kobe basically do the same to shaq, im just a fan who doesn’t wanna see 4-5 bad years again(smush parker qwame brown era). People just wanna see Dwight gone because he wasnt quick to lay his future with Jim buss, I say to each his own and we still need him back.

        • Jokobe

          So basically you’re saying to someone who is putting in more effort than he was when he was younger to put up the same numbers is going to take a pay cut? C’mon now. Think realistically. He earned his $30 mill, leave it at that. Laker’s were the one who made the offer and Kobe signed, end of story. A true Lakers fan would not say what you just did. GTFO.

          • Jack

            No one person is worth 30 million in sports, especially when they’re not in their prime. And kobe isn’t giving you a cent of that to be illogical and dickride like you are. But you’re name is Jokobe, I should expect this.

          • Jokobe

            You are an idiot saying Kobe isn’t worth 30 mill. He is box office. He sells out wherever he goes. He sells out Bucks games.

            I do agree with you on a couple things though: Lakers are in a tough situation and Dwight Howard is quite a catch at center for the Lakers however him leaving will not break the Lakers.

          • Jack

            I get you man I’ve told laker haters before he’s worth 30 mil can’t lie lol, I’m just saying they would sell out wherever they go if they had a stacked team and were winning even after he retires, because it’s the Lakers.

          • Jokobe

            Not because its the Lakers, its of because what the Lakers represent: hardwork, dedication, and most importantly winning — the 16 titles say that.

          • Jack

            But they are also entertainers and known for their showmanship. They always have the talent to do so, going all the way back to showtime. It’s the rare combination that clearly shows the Lakers will always be a powerhouse franchise, even after kobe retires, and even if dwight leaves.

          • Day

            kobe has been the meal ticket of the NBA for so long… 17 yrs and counting.. 30 mil…at the end of his contract has been a bargain…you have to compare how much money kobe or even just his name has made for the lakers organization.

          • BraveStar3030

            Jack you are not providing any arguments to prove no one is worth 30 mill in sports. Maybe they do to some. You sound like you’re jealous, have you put the same amount of work Kobe has to achieve what he has?. You are probably just a couch potato trolling away with a side of nachos and a big gulp. What do you care how much money he gets, if you are not paying him?.

          • Jack

            Im a pg in college, you’re trolling on a conversation you weren’t included in on a laker nation comment section, imagine how crazy you’re coming off. Sit the fuck down don’t write me back and go feed your cats you waste of a nut.

          • BraveStar3030

            So that’s what’s up your ass, you never made it to the pro’s and hate on the ones who did and accomplished something. You’re a loser.

          • BraveStar3030


        • BraveStar3030

          your argument would be valid if Steve Nash wasn’t playing in L.A. And if Kobe hadn’t won 2 championships without Shaq. Howard needs the Lakers more than the Lakers need him. Everything Kobe said was true, just ask Lebron, Wade and Bosh, it takes sacrifice and eating up your ego to win. If Howard is not willing to do that, then he is useless. And so will any other young players with the same attitude. The clippers are the perfect example, young and talented but they’re all flash and no sacrifice when it counts. Need I remind you Kobe scored 2 free throws with a snapped aquilles tendon to give his teammates a chance to fight for the championship, even though he knew he was not going to be a part of that run, and even though he really didn’t need to since he already has 5 rings?.

  • Terrence

    Or you know, Kobe knows its the players right to be able to choose where they want to go in free agency and that they should exercise that right. Something he knows wasn’t always there and they had to fight to get from the owners. I doubt Dwight’s free agency bug’s Kobe at all. More like how other franchises think they can match the Lakers success and trying to sell Dwight on that. Of the Rockets, Mavericks, and Warriors they have one championship among them in the last decade.

  • gaspar

    Men that guy dont deserve to be a laker. Bynum should come back. He might not have the talent of howard but he sure has more heart. like the time shaq dunked on him and he came back with a dunk of himself.

  • wayneking

    just let him go ~He is a guy that never win a champ

  • jon

    i just hope that the lakers FO have a back up plan and have explored other options…but it seems they never had one…whew…

  • Erich

    Mr. Heisler, I completely see your point, and I believe it is a valid one. However, if truth be told, your writing style is very confusing, or it was confusing in this specific article; For some reason, the structure of your paragraphs start off promising, but then lead to no real conclusion. In other words, your article is just a bunch of filler, and not enough substance.

    I hope you do not take offense to my criticism. Instead, I hope that you take something away from reading this that might make you a better writer, in your own eyes. I am a fan of some of your other articles, but this one specifically was just very tough to read.

    Thank you very much, and God bless you.

  • zzz

    trade howard for bogut and irving(curry to cavs):DDDD