Kobe Bryant didn't want to give up his status to Dwight Howard

It's becoming clear that Kobe was the reason Dwight Howard left the Lakers

7/11/13 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Mar 22, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) and center Dwight Howard (12)  in the first half of the game against the Washington Wizards at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SportsThere were some people who thought that Dwight Howard would be back with the Lakers, since they were technically able to pay him more than any other team via free agency.

At the end of the day, Howard still ended up choosing the Houston Rockets and spurned the Lakers, one of the most storied franchises in sports.

Why did he decide to leave? It's starting to look like Kobe Bryant had a lot to do with it.

Originally, it was reported that Kobe Bryant was one of the last people to meet with Howard before he made his decision, and that meeting was a total turnoff for Howard.

At the time, no details were given about the meeting, leaving people to guess the exact reason Howard was turned off by Kobe's pitch. Now, we know a little bit more about it.

Apparently Howard was set on the idea of becoming the face of the Lakers' franchise, and wanted that to happen sometime soon. Once Kobe Bryant made it clear that he wasn't interested in retiring (or leaving the team) anytime soon, it became obvious that the "face of the franchise" wasn't going to be changing.

Howard figured that in Houston, he would be that face, giving him an opportunity that wasn't going to be available in Los Angeles.

Not only is Kobe Bryant not planning on stepping aside anytime soon, he's apparently also not interested in taking any kind of pay cut or hometown discount to stay with the Lakers.

At this point, Kobe is actually hurting the team. Badly. By preventing them from being able to sign Dwight Howard, he basically financially crippled them for the 2013-14 season. Once the Lakers free up some salary in 2014-15, they'll still be handcuffed significantly thanks to Kobe's contract, which will be upwards of $30 million.

Instead of being able to sign multiple free agent max contracts, the Lakers will be giving Bryant basically the equivalent of two of those max contracts. And quite honestly, the chances of Bryant legitimately being worth two max contracts in 2014-15 is approximately zero. In fact, the chances of his on-court value even being worth ONE max contract are slim to none.

While Bryant is still (and will always be) beloved in Lakers Nation, the fact is that he's severely hurting the Lakers' chances of winning a championship anytime soon.

Enjoy a few sub-.500 seasons, Lakers fans.
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7/11/13   |   Scott   |   51954 respect

jjh8857 wrote:
Why won't the Lakers be able to win with Kobe Bryant as the face of the franchise?

Kobe Bryant isn't getting any younger and if he is going to continue to keep the franchise from spending money to get younger, the Lakers are never going to be able to compete with the Thunder, Rockets, Warriors and Spurs. The best thing for the Lakers to do is to hope Kobe decides to pass the torch soon, otherwise I can see this franchise struggling

7/11/13   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

jjh8857 wrote:
Why won't the Lakers be able to win with Kobe Bryant as the face of the franchise?

Because they're paying half of their allotted salary to an aging shoot-first superstar who is declining every year. When you compare that to teams that are getting LeBron James or Kevin Durant's services for $10M less, it makes it incredibly difficult (perhaps even impossible) to compete.

Unless he takes a significant pay cut to the point where his paycheck reflects his on-court contribution, they won't win a championship.

7/11/13   |   jjh8857   |   322 respect

Scott wrote:
IMO, the Lakers aren't going to win with either Kobe or Dwight Howard as the face of the franchise

Why won't the Lakers be able to win with Kobe Bryant as the face of the franchise?

7/11/13   |   Scott   |   51954 respect

IMO, the Lakers aren't going to win with either Kobe or Dwight Howard as the face of the franchise

7/11/13   |   jjh8857   |   322 respect

I hope you're not implying that Dwight Howard was gonna help the Lakers win a championship.  

7/11/13   |   abac89   |   758 respect

Dwight's decision to leave had more to do with Dantoni's system than it did Kobe not willing to take a backseat and really why would he? Kobe has already won at some point in time we just have to admit that Dwight always has something to complain about