How Much Blame Does Kobe Bryant Deserve For Lakers’ Whiff on Dwight Howard?

Dwight Howard is a Los Angeles Laker no more, and there are a number of reasons why he may have decided to take his talents to Houston instead of trying to become the next great center for a franchise that has defined the position.

Howard's inability to adapt to head coach Mike D'Antoni's system and the health of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash may be a couple of reasons why Howard decided Houston was a better fit than L.A.

But I for one am betting Howard made his mind up for sure right after hearing Bryant challenge him to embrace the pressure of living up to the Lakers' lofty standards.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Bryant told Howard: "You have to learn how it's done. I know how to do it and I've learned from the best – players who have won multiple times over and over. Instead of trying to do things your way, just listen and learn and tweak it, so it fits you."

Bryant's approach may have been caustic, abrasive and blunt, but it was certainly the truth, and apparently it was a little too much for Howard to handle.

When I first learned of Kobe's approach, my first thought was Howard was not going to take it very well. It didn't take long for ESPN's Chris Broussard to confirm my theory.

Bryant had been asking Howard to let him show him how to win a championship since the big man came to Los Angeles via trade, and it's been a source of tension between the two ever since.

Instead of blaming Bryant for running Howard out of town, which sensible Lakers supporters won't, fans should be thanking Bryant for revealing the true nature of Howard's character.

Instead of facing the challenge of leading the NBA's most storied franchise into the future, Howard folded under the pressure. Instead of accepting Bryant's challenge, Howard ran from it.

Say what you will about Bryant, but he has earned the right to lecture on the merits of being ...

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