A few days ago, Kobe Bryant talked about Dwight Howard and how he should change things up a bit. Kobe emphasized the fact that Howard should be more aggressive and turn it up a notch or two with the following statement via ESPN:
“You’ve got to have a little of that dog in you,” Bryant said on Tuesday. “It’s just a matter of him digging deep and just pulling it out. But it’s already there. It’s just a matter of him having it become habit.”
Over the course of his career in the NBA, Howard has been criticized at times for his demeanor on the floor. Howard is always smiling and never seems to take anything seriously. A great attitude that a lot of people wished they had, but some current and former NBA players believe that might be a flaw in his game.
The one player that comes to mind in terms of always smiling is Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
During his career Magic was very similar to Howard in terms of likability and always having a smile on his face, but when it came to competing, Magic was a different beast altogether with a never-say-die attitude and always striving to win no matter the cost.
The smile was always there for Magic, but he’d rather win now and smile later. Winning was always the number one priority with everything else taking a backseat.
The comments made by Kobe are nothing new for the superstar center as it has been arguably the biggest criticism of his career. Howard responded to Kobe’s comments with the following via Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“I heard about what he said,” Howard said. “People might take that the wrong way. He’s not saying be a jerk or an a-hole to people, he’s basically saying, ‘On the court. He loves the way I play, but I can be more of one of those people.’ “
It’ll be interesting to see if Howard can make the transition to a more aggressive attitude on the floor. There’s never been any question about Howard’s heart or whether or not he gives it his all every single night, but an aggressive and focused Howard would be a scary sight for any opposing team.