Examining What Dwight Howard Must Learn from Kobe Bryant as a Leader

Dwight Howard may have been the biggest story in Los Angeles this summer, but Kobe Bryant is still the biggest name.

He'll be happy to remind you, too (via ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin):

"I got a question earlier about whose team this is," Bryant told reporters at the Lakers media day Monday. "I don't want to get into the, 'Well, we share ...' No, it's my team. But I want to make sure that Dwight, when I retire, this is going to be his. I want to teach him everything I possibly know so that when I step away this organization can ride on as if I never left."

Kobe, could you tell us how you really feel about the situation?

At least we don't have to worry about there being any ambiguities in the locker room.

The message was loud and clear—and entirely superfluous. Was anyone still wondering whether Kobe would run this show? Dwight Howard wouldn't be in Los Angeles unless Bryant was perfectly okay with it, and he wouldn't be perfectly okay with it without some obvious qualifications.

The Lakers are Kobe's so long as he wants them to be.

You almost wonder if Mike Brown ever feels like an assistant coach.

Bryant means to lead, and he's already started doing so. The first step in establishing order amongst larger-than-life personalities is picking an alpha dog and going as he goes. That isn't to say the 34-year-old is a tyrant. He'll happily delegate responsibilities, especially if that means allowing Steve Nash to manage the offense.

When it comes to establishing this team's direction and serving as mentor-in-chief? Bryant's the one wearing the pants.

After all, the Lakers' new use of the Princeton offense was at least in part Bryant's idea, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Not that we should be surprised, but if this is the kind of decision over which the Lakers legend has say, there's clearly nothing stopping...

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