When the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic during the summer, fans were already talking about the possibility that he could be the long-term answer to the question, “what will the team do once Kobe Bryant retires?” Bryant has already speculated that he only has a few more seasons left in him, and once he’s gone the team will need to find a new star to carry on the legacy.
That star could be Dwight Howard.
At his first Media Day as a member of the Lakers, Howard was asked about life post-Kobe, and if he’s ready to carry that mantle.
“I have (thought of it), but it’s a process. Still, I’m willing to go through that process and learn from one of the greatest players to ever play the game.”
Howard talked about his relationship with Bryant, and how he wants Kobe to help teach him how to become a champion.
“Learning from a guy like Kobe, I know he’s going to be tough on me. I expect that. I want him to do that. I want to be that guy. I’ll take all the heat that he’s going to give me, because I know that at the end of the day it’s going to make me a better player, a better person, and it’s going to make this team better.”
While this season their focus is on working together and playing with one another, with no long-term extension in place it’s interesting to hear Howard discuss becoming the face of the franchise for years to come.