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Kobe talks Lakers, Dwight Howard’s future
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On January 26, 2013 @ 8:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES – There was a missing piece to the puzzle Kobe Bryant was putting together late Friday night.
Long after the Lakers had downed Utah 102-84 to break their four-game losing streak and remind the masses of the potential they still have, their resident ruler was explaining the confrontational nature of his team’s culture and why it was a good thing that they were put together this way. He mentioned how Metta World Peace jumped all over Darius Morris at one point of the game, and how even Steve Nash came right back at Bryant when he confronted him about not taking a particular shot. No nonsense. No pulled punches. No secrets.
“That’s just how it should be,” he had told reporters afterward. “Yeah, shoot the (expletive). What the (expletive) you doing? You know?…This is what it is, and this is how it should be and this is how it will be.”
But five days after the team meeting that seemed to embody this candid and caustic style that Bryant has employed for so long, it was impossible not to notice the omission of Dwight Howard from the conversation. The Lakers center doesn’t fit into this part of the Lakers picture, his personality more passive-aggressive than direct and the question remaining about whether the free-agent-to-be is prepared to play this game with Bryant beyond this season.
Bryant doesn’t know how this will end any more than anyone else, as Howard could be dealt before the Feb. 21 deadline if it turns out he has a wandering eye and the Lakers change their stance that’s he’s untouchable. But so long as he’s here, Bryant made clear, this is the way his team will be led.
“It’s a matter of learning (for Howard),” Bryant told USA TODAY Sports as he exited Staples Center. “What I try to tell him is that it’s not necessarily about what you (want), how you are as a person, or what’s comfortable for you. It’s really about what’s going to help elevate us.
“So for us to have a team that’s confrontational and on edge brings out the competitive spirit … [For more on Kobe Bryant talks Lakers, Dwight Howard's future, click here.]
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