In a new documentary released by EPIX.com on Wednesday, Dwight Howard talked about numerous topics including asking for a coaching change and demanding a trade in Orlando to his relationship with Kobe Bryant before and during his time in Los Angeles.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Howard talked about how the five-time champion helped him before he arrived via trade and how their relationship rapidly deteriorated during the course of the season:
Before I got to the Lakers, I would talk to him [and] he would really help me out on the [down] low about how to become everything that I said I wanted to be. And I looked up to him and I looked up to everything he, as a basketball player, stood for. … [By the end of that season] I just felt so hurt and disappointed in the fact that the guy that I was expecting to be somebody who was gonna pass the torch, somebody to say, ‘Dwight, I’ll take you under my wing and I’ll show you how to get it done’ … it was none of that.
While both players have acknowledged that it simply didn’t work out in Los Angeles, their rift was on full display on Opening Night when Howard elbowed Bryant in the mouth in which the five-time champion called him “soft” following the play.
Although Howard expected Kobe to pass him the torch, he ultimately decided to join the Houston Rockets after only one season in Los Angeles. While the Lakers are rebuilding, the team drafted Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson and will have ample cap room to pursue big name free agents such as Rajon Rondo and LaMarcus Aldridge this upcoming summer.[divide]
Kobe Bryant Reacts To Elbow/Trash Talking Scuffle With Dwight Howard