Dwight Howard Says He Didn’t Leave Lakers over Fear of Kobe Bryant

Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant will forever be linked following the Los Angeles Lakers' failed superteam experiment, but it's the former's abrupt departure that continues to linger as a source of perceived tension. 

According to the Los Angeles Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore, Howard is adamant that he didn't bolt for the Houston Rockets because Bryant was too assertive: 

Howard's comments did not come unprovoked, though.

According to ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes, Lakers head coach Byron Scott fired the first shot after speculatively casting doubt over Howard's drive to succeed. 

"My outside perspective is Kobe is a real serious guy and wants to win championships," Scott said. "I don't know if Dwight is that serious about it. I know No. 24 is. I think that probably was the clash."

Furthermore, ESPN The Magazine's Henry Abbott reported last week that Howard wasn't enthused with Bryant's discourse during the team's free-agent pitch two summers ago:

When Howard asked why his teammates let the injured center take all the flak when the Lakers' season went south, Nash said he didn't know that Howard had felt that way and that had he known, he would have acted differently. Bryant, on the other hand, offered a crash course in developing thick skin and a mini lecture on learning how to win. Sources told ESPN Insider Chris Broussard that Bryant's lecture was "a complete turnoff" for Howard.

But whatever the reason was for his departure, Howard has been exponentially more content since joining the Rockets. 

While he was forced to take a backseat to James Harden and Chandler Parsons on offense throughout last season, Howard still thrived to the tune of 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. 

Now with a full season of experience in head coach Kevin McHale's system, Howard is primed to thrive much the way he...

About the Author