Dwight Howard: Will Kobe Bryant’s Impact Lead Him to Greatness or Free Agency?

Michael Wilbon of ESPN feels that Dwight Howard is very lucky to be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the franchise's illustrious history certainly supports his theory.

From Wilt Chamberlain in 1968 to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 and Shaquille O'Neal in 1996, the Lakers have crafted their legacy by building around a dominant interior presence. Howard certainly fits that description, but Wilt and Kareem didn't have to play with Kobe Bryant.

Magic Johnson and Jerry West may be the most well-respected Lakers in franchise history, but for all their personality and charisma, it's hard to picture either one of them calling out their star-teammate centers, even when they deserved it.

But Bryant is something different.

Bryant has shown since his early days in the NBA that he has little use for teammates who fail to exude the same type of focus and purpose that he does, and no player has been great enough to escape his criticism.

At this point in his career, all Kobe really cares about is winning rings, and if your approach to that goal doesn't say you're with him, then you're against him—and it doesn't matter who you are.

Kobe's feud with his future Hall of Fame teammate O'Neal is legendary, and while forward Pau Gasol may one day be a candidate for the Hall himself, that hasn't stopped Bryant's icy glare from occasionally falling on him. 

Should we expect anything different when it comes to Howard's interaction with Bryant?

As J.A. Adande of ESPN noted in a recent article, Howard's introductory interview was filled with responses about how much fun he would have playing with the Lakers, but he only mentioned winning a ring once.

And that lone nod to the Lakers' championship history was actually done while Howard was quoting Bryant during one of his several comical impersonations.

Howard's oth...

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