Kobe Bryant Wants Final Word with Dwight Howard in Free Agency

When Kobe Bryant speaks, his teammates tend to listen.

That’s why the Black Mamba is making a smart decision by waiting to get the last word in with Dwight Howard this offseason. The big man is projected to be recruited by a number of suitors in unrestricted free agency and will be hearing various pitches over the next few weeks.

ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin sat down with Bryant on Monday to discuss a wide variety of issues—including his recovery from an Achilles injury the superstar suffered at the end of the regular season—but none of those topics were as important to the future of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise as No. 24’s plans to keep D12 in the Purple and Gold.

This is what Bryant had to say on the subject:

For me, you kind of let him do his due diligence and then move in and talk to him and figure out if this is a place he wants to be. We all want him here. But then that's when the selling begins [after Howard is courted by other teams]. You don't start the selling process right before he goes and does all this stuff. You want to get the last word. You want to have the final word and the closing argument. I'll give him a little opening statement, but then I have to make sure I have the final word.

Howard hasn’t given any indication on where he will sign, with his latest comments coming courtesy of the Los Angeles Times’  T.J. Simers. Howard told the reporter, "It's free agency and I have the opportunity to choose where I'm going to play. God opens doors, and I'm relying on my faith to direct me. I want to win; I've done everything else. I just want to win."

When asked if he could win with the Lakers, Howard just grinned and told Simers that “any team” he is on technically could.

Given that Superman believes he can win a title no matter where he land...

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