On the surface, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard played nice quite convincingly. Some people might even have believed they liked each other. When reports surfaced early in the season that they had to be separated in the locker room, the duo responded by tweeting out a picture of them in a staredown.
But something never felt right about the two. Reports here and there continued to leak that the two were at odds. And when the Lakers reached 17-25 following an embarrassing loss to the Grizzlies, the players hashed it out on their own. The details were never released, but the Memphis Meeting was a turning point in the season.
However, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski got information of what went down in the meeting, and boy was it not pretty.
Every time you trash me to teammates, it gets back to me, witnesses said Bryant told Howard in the visiting locker room of the FedEx Forum. Every time you do one of your impersonations when I walk out of the room, I find out.
WOW! Clearly the leader of the team, Bryant had enough of Dwight’s antics and told the big man straight up. And that wasn’t even the end of it!
Bryant had come to rage against the idea that Howard’s clownish disposition could overtake the locker room, the Lakers’ culture, and had warned Howard that he would never, ever let it happen. He hated it with Shaquille O’Neal, but Shaq performed on a championship plane for the Lakers and delivered a disposition to dominate on the floor.
“Kobe talked to Dwight in a way that I don’t think anyone one had ever talked to him – not in Orlando, not here, not in his life, I’m betting,” one witness in the room told Yahoo! Sports. “He’s been coddled, and Kobe wasn’t going to coddle him.”
Speechless. If the reports are true, and given Wojnarowski’s pedigree, there’s little reason for us not to believe them, then what drama we have here. The two superstars may not have been friends, but this is eye-opening details.
You thought Kobe vs. Dwight, Lakers vs. Houston was going to be primetime before? Can you say hello ratings records?