The fallout from Dwight Howard’s decision to leave the Lakers for the Houston Rockets continues. After Howard stated it was merely due to his desire to win a championship, and that he felt Houston offered him the best opportunity to do so, it’s now been discovered that one of the main reasons for Howard’s exodus was the uncertainty of when Kobe Bryant would retire, and when Dwight would be considered “the man” in Los Angeles.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, this uncertainty of when Bryant would finally pass the torch to Howard is one of the main reasons Dwight left for Houston.
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.
Rumors of the rift between Dwight and Kobe had been whispered long before Howard was even traded to the Lakers, so this isn’t remarkably surprising news.
Still, with Kobe planning on playing a few more seasons (and suddenly not interested in taking a pay cut), the Lakers might have trouble getting more, big-name free agents to head west to L.A. and join Bryant on the squad.
Still, one name that Kobe isn’t completely writing off as impossible is one that many teams will be trying to lure in 2014, LeBron James. Even Kobe, who is one of the league’s best competitors, said James to L.A. isn’t completely ridiculous.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
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