The Lakers have witnessed regressive communications between their two most talented players, and it doesn’t seem to getting any better.
Bryant has always been known to challenge people, Howard is learning that. The Lakers guard has also found his all star teammate to be too friendly, not agressive enough, untested, etc. Rest assured, Howard hasn’t simply remained silent. He’s let the media know that, regardless of his mythical reputation in the league, Bryant is “not a doctor.” Bryant has recently even said that “it doesn’t matter” what the Lakers decide to do with Howard in terms of either keeping or trading him.
Both Bryant and Howard were selected to the all star game, which came and went this past weekend. In the midst of what is supposed to be one of the few times superstar egos relax and joke around, things seem to be as icy as ever for the two.
Per the NY Post, Howard had evidently “clowned” Bryant a little. In front some fellow all star starters, the Lakers’ center dawned a number 24 jersey and began mocking his teammate a little. Maybe he was demonstrating a signature Bryant scowl or the more recent Mamba stare.
Dwight Howard has been known to possess this sort of Shaq-like need to be on camera. He’s seemingly always smiling, always looking to crack somebody up. So, it could have just been Dwight being playful Dwight.
Whatever it was, Bryant didn’t seem too pleased about it. Per NY Post:
“said hello to everyone on the team except Howard, grabbed his stuff and moved as far away from Howard as he could.”
Frankly, it would be hard imagine that Bryant minded a little bit of ribbing here and there. What it might be is the level of respect one has for the other. That’s what seems to be lacking year. My guess would be that Howard sees Bryant as this grumpy, pushy old man and Mamba probably see’s the Lakers’ big as childish and soft.
It’s that level of mutual respect that constitutes the difference between Mamba and Howard sitting in a room together, and these two.
Mohamed Abdihakim is a journalism student at Florida Atlantic University. He is a Phoenix Suns fan, who is not prepared for the possibility of Nash winning a title in a Lakers jersey. Mohamed is also an editor at Hoops Nation and contributes to Les Snobs. Interests include International basketball, Mad Men, and blues music. Nearly all stats are credited to Hoopdata or Basketball-Reference.
Twitter handle: @Abdi_hakim.