Two things Kobe Bryant cares about – winning the sixth NBA title ring, which leads us to the second thing; being considered the greatest player of all-time, or in the same breath as Michael Jordan. While he might say that he doesn’t care about Dwight Howard leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, his reaction and usual thought process is telling us something completely different.
Howard was supposed to be the player that arrives in Los Angeles, becoming a huge part of an aging team and becomes the piece that helps Kobe Bryant once again be a championship contender.
However, things didn’t work out quite as planned. The Lakers’ age meant they were slow an injury prone, having a huge effect on their defense, which one of the worst in the NBA last season, especially in open court plays.
While the Lakers have been busy all summer trashing Howard’s commitment and willingness to change in order to fit the system, maybe they are also at fault for thinking that someone with Howard’s ego is going to take his new status as Bryant’s number 2 quietly. Kobe Bryant doesn’t like having a threat on his standing playing next to him, and Howard didn’t like the Lakers not willing to play the way he wants and making him the focal point of the offense right away.
The biggest quote from the Lakers’ media day was Bryant making himself heard loud and clear about the whole Dwight Howard saga. When asked about what he feels about getting snubbed by Howard, deciding to join the Houston Rockets instead, he was curt and clear: Honestly, man, I don’t really give a s!@#. It is what it is.
The actual question was about his surprise level when Howard left, but Bryant probably knew Howard wasn’t staying when he gave him that disastrous presentation, which is about challenging Howard to win something with the Lakers instead of pampering to his ego. Bryant isn’t sucking up to anyone, especially if it’s someone who doesn’t even want to play with him on the same team.
But does Bryant really not give a s!@# ? That’s hard to believe. You don’t seem so angry and emotional about the subject if you don’t care. Bryant is obviously a little bit tired of hearing about Howard, who is off playing for a better team, but everything the Lakers do this season and in the near future, as long as they don’t return to their successful ways, will be measured in light of the events of the last 12 months – trying to create a super team by taking on the wrong players, and how it all fell apart with the wrong head coach and terrible social relations in the dressing room.