Kobe Bryant: “I’m done talking” about Howard
After a recent slew of injuries again struck the Los Angeles Lakers, shooting guard Kobe Bryan demanded some urgency from his teammates. While the five-time NBA champion has always motivated his teammates towards constantly improving, Kobe Bryant’s comments also showed some cracks starting to form in the walls after ESPN quoted Bryant stating Dwight Howard should speed up his return from shoulder injury.
Dwight Howard, who missed the end of the Orlando Magic’s season last year due to back injury (eventually resulting in offseason surgery), stepped back for a while fearing against risking his career by aggravating the injury after dealing with issues in the same shoulder earlier season. So, the 24-year-old Dwight Howard wasn’t particularly pleased by Kobe Bryant’s approach. And after Dwight Howard’s father further fanned the flames holding Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni for not controlling “Kobe’s mouth,” Bryant decided let the drama surrounding the team die out on its own.
"Honestly, I'm done talking about it,” said Kobe Bryant. “There's nothing to talk about. I'm done with it. There's nothing to discuss. It's silly.”
However, Kobe Bryant made a last shot at setting the record straight, asserting he wasn’t criticizing for Dwight Howard for his forethought towards returning too early.
"It's really not that big of a deal. This thing in Boston, they really made something out of nothing," asserted Kobe Bryant. "There’s nothing I said that was out of the ordinary or that I haven’t said before in talking to him."
Kobe Bryant also noted in the ESPN story that Dwight Howard needed to adopt the Los Angeles Lakers’ tradition of fully investing in the season.
"It's win a championship or everything is a complete failure. That's just how [the Lakers] do it. And that's foreign to him."
However, Kobe Bryant seemed more supportive of Dwight Howard, who scored nine points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to Boston Celtics on Thursday and 12 points against the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday.
"All year, [media] people have been trying to hang on to stuff. He's just got to go do his job — just rebound and defend," Kobe Bryant said of Dwight Howard who has been limited by back, leg and shoulder injuries this season. "We do our jobs and our roles in what we have to do to help us win. It's not rocket science.”
"He's doing the best he can,” added Kobe Bryant. “Obviously he's limited in what he can do for us as opposed to what he was doing when he was in Orlando but he's still giving it a good effort."