Los Angeles Lakers: Why Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard Were Doomed From the Start

Before I dive into the wild world of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want you to picture something.

Picture yourself with a dog, whether or not you have one in reality—an energetic, playful Labrador. A Lab is “loveable, happy and friendly to all he meets,” in addition to being known for his “strong, heavy built body,” according to Pet MD.

Now, I want you to picture yourself putting that Labrador alone in a yard with a Pit Bull, a dog whose history tells you all you need to know about it.

“The canine’s ancestors were the result of experimentally crossbreeding different Bulldog and Terrier breeds for the purpose of bear- and bull-baiting, a blood sport in which the dog was trained to attack until the larger animal was defeated. When baiting was banned in the 1800s, the dogs were then bred for the sport of dog fighting.” (via Pet MD)

Your nice, friendly Labrador has entered the vicious Pit’s territory—what do you think is going to happen?

That yard, which is what Los Angeles essentially became in 2013, had both a Labrador and a Pit Bull on its roster in 2013—Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant.

When the team brought in D12, there was hope that he and the alpha dog would be able to coexist, and even flourish together, just as many dogs of differing breeds are able to do. After all, not all Pit Bulls are aggressive and dominant. However, the yard was only big enough for one of them.

On July 7th, Howard signed a four-year, $88 million contract with the Houston Rockets after just one season of ups-and-downs with the Lakers that ultimately led to disappointment. Howard returned from a back injury prematurely and was never fully healthy, and it showed all season.

Despite the fact that he wasn’t 100 percent, Howard was still a monster and put up about 17 points a night and led the league with 12.4 rebo...

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