Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard’s Relationship Vital to D12 Staying with LA Lakers

Despite the issues Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant have had this past season, developing their relationship is key in terms of convincing Superman to come back to Los Angeles.

Bryant has reportedly been a tough teammate to play with no matter what the circumstances. Just ask Smush Parker about Kobe's demeanor and attitude. 

These negatives aside, there is no debating the fact that Bryant is a proven winner with an unmatched work ethic. Although he isn't a conventional leader, he truly leads by example and has proven himself as a viable facilitator and on-court floor general this past season.

This season has shown that Howard has yet to develop the mental fortitude required to be the center of the nation's media spotlight. 

His 49.2 free-throw percentage during the season, 44.4 percent in the playoffs and his reported 80.0 percent during practices prove that Howard's mental toughness is still questionable. 

With Kobe Bryant in tow, Howard's transition into a franchise player can develop more naturally. This will require the developing of a rapport between the two that didn't really occur during this past season.

However, with the vastly lowered expectations the Lakers have following a bust of a season, there should be more leeway for Howard and Bryant to grow together if Howard chooses to stay in L.A.

The Black Mamba clearly dominates the ball. Part of the reason Howard and Bryant never saw eye-to-eye is because Howard felt he deserved more touches, a feeling many of Kobe's teammates have felt over the years. 

However, this issue could be resolved if both players keep an open mind and realize that Howard will have to play a bigger part in the offense with Bryant coming off of an Achilles tendon injury.

Another issue that made it hard for Howard to be completely comfortable during his transition from ...

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