Lakers Rumors: Dwight Howard as the Future Won’t Number Kobe Bryant’s LA Years

During an interview with ESPN's Colin Cowherd, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak made the team's intentions very clear (via ESPN Los Angeles). Kupchak referred to Dwight Howard with two words—"our future."

Contrary to the speculation that has mounted since, D-12 being named the team's future will not number Kobe Bryant's years in Los Angeles.

Since Kupchak made those remarks, many have speculated as to where this leaves Bryant. After all, the 16-year veteran has clashed with Howard on numerous occasions, including this past weekend's All-Star break (via The New York Post).

According to Chad Ford of ESPN, there are rumblings that the Lakers would choose D-12 over Kobe if it came to that.

I've heard rumblings that if Howard told Laker officials this summer that the only way he'd stay in LA is if Kobe leaves, the Lakers could end up choosing Howard over Kobe. It's an unlikely scenario, but one worth watching.

Unlikely and, quite frankly, irrelevant.

Come 2014, Kobe, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace will be free agents. It is then that Howard will be looking to Lakers management to surround him with the caliber talent to win multiple championships.

Just don't think that the potential re-signing of Bryant would alienate Howard in any form or manner.

The notion that D-12 and Kobe can't co-exist is blasphemous and borders on the edge of premature. During a season in which the Lakers are 26-29, it's hard to imagine two superstars not filled with tension.

These first-time teammates are simply developing a slow understanding as to what one another is all about.

Furthermore, the Lakers may be undergoing a change in ownership, but that doesn't mean they will suddenly lose sight of what's important. For instance, Bryant is the most popular athlete in Los Angeles.

Correction, Bryant is one of the most popular athletes in the...

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