Kobe Bryant Mentoring Dwight Howard Will Make L.A. Lakers Prosper in 2012-13

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be involved in a practice with the Los Angeles Lakers? To go one-on-one with Kobe Bryant and see how you'd hold your own against one of the greatest of all-time?

For those of you who answered that question with the word "yes," please proceed to reconsider. As Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles reports, it may be the worst time of your life.

"I make guys uncomfortable. When I practice, everybody is a little uncomfortable," [Kobe] Bryant said. "If you want to get to that next level, if a guy's guarding you in practice, you have to punish him and send him a message. Make the guy who is guarding you think about if he wants to play in the NBA anymore."

Although riveting, this isn't a random piece of information to help you get through your day at work. Instead, it is a reflection of what type of player and leader Bryant has become over the span of his 16 years in the league.

It's also an example of what he will be teaching his newest teammate: Dwight Howard.

Howard is widely considered to be the most dominant big man in the NBA. He's one of the greatest interior defenders in league history and may just be the best pick-and-roll finisher the NBA has to offer. Even still, many believe that Howard lacks the necessary mean streak to win a title.

D-12's comical side has begun to catch up to him.

Bryant has taken note of said theories and responded to them with high praise. Unlike Andrew Bynum, who many felt was in need of extreme development, Bryant believes Howard to have all of the mental tools necessary to take his game to the next level.

An NBA championship level.

"[For] Dwight [Howard]...to be a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, you've got to have a little of that dog in you," Bryant said. "It's just a matter of him digging deep and just pulling it out. But it's already there. It's just a matter of him having it ...

About the Author