Even though Dwight Howard never said that James Harden is a better player and teammate than Kobe Bryant, on his most recent interview it’s quite easily concluded from his comments on the two that the difference between the two shooting guards was the main reason he chose to join the Houston Rockets, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers behind.
It doesn’t even have to come down to Howard saying it. Everything was clear just from watching the Los Angeles Lakers on the court: Kobe Bryant isn’t going to let anyone thrive at his own expense, even if it means the team suffering for it. The Houston Rockets are a rising force in the NBA, with more than just Harden.
Howard wasn’t planning on waiting until Bryant retires to become the leading man for the Lakers. When his attempt to get the Lakers to see things his way and possibly amnesty Bryant, it was clear that it wasn’t the place for him. Houston, in almost every aspect of basketball, socially and the direction of the franchise, was the better choice, even if the Lakers used to be great.
A lot of people say, ‘Well, if you would’ve waited a couple years, then this could’ve been yours. And I’m like, ‘In a couple years, I’m 30,'” Howard said. “I don’t want to wait. I’ve been in the league 10 years. I don’t want to wait for things to happen. I want to be aggressive, to make things happen. And I’m looking at all these young guys who are just ready, and they’re missing one piece. And I’m like, ‘I could be that piece, and I don’t want to miss my chance.
James Harden doesn’t come by every 10 years. It doesn’t happen. It’s no knock on other players who I played with, but you’re talking about all these guys who are young and are going this way, going up, so I’m like, ‘Man, this is a great spot for me. A great town, great organization.’ They’re going up. Other teams have more history, but yesterday’s scores don’t win today’s games. You’ve got to look at the now. What’s in the now? What can we do now? Nobody cared about what I did eight years ago, they want to know what I can do now, and it’s the perfect team for me.