The further we get away from Dwight Howard’s decision to join the Rockets, the more we hear about how things really happened last season. First, we heard about Kobe Bryant and Dwight’s showdown in a Memphis locker room. Now, we hear about Dwight’s uneasiness about the Lakers future, specifically regarding Bryant.
According to a report from Ramona Shelburne, Howard wasn’t comfortable playing second fiddle to Bryant past next season, let alone throughout the rest of the Black Mamba’s career.
Sources told ESPN.com that Howard and his representatives — in a handful of meetings with Lakers officials before he became a free agent July 1 — strongly suggested the center would have a difficult time re-signing with the team if Bryant stayed with the franchise beyond the 2013-14 season, the final year of his contract.
We knew the power struggle between this two was intense, but as the details keep coming, the more we find out how much these two really couldn’t have lasted together long-term in Los Angeles. Yet, the biggest blow between the two may have come immediately after Bryant went down with his Achilles injury.
Howard’s camp at one point asked the Lakers whether they were at least considering releasing Bryant through the league’s amnesty provision, since Bryant’s return date from Achilles tendon surgery remained in question….But the Lakers, sources said, made it clear the prospect of releasing Bryant or simply trying to lay out a finite timetable on the end of his career with the franchise was not under consideration, believing those decisions should and would be made by Bryant.
Talk about shots fired. Howard’s long list of demands to the Lakers continues to grow. First, he refused to run the pick and roll offense, according to Steve Nash. And according to multiple sources, he asked the Lakers to fire Mike D’Antoni in favor of Phil Jackson. Now, he wanted the Lakers to amnesty Bryant, or at least consider it. And yet, he still wanted to be in the best situation to win a title.
Let’s just say the Lakers might have addition by subtraction within the locker room this upcoming season.