When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Dwight Howard during the 2012 off-season, it was believed the team landed their next building block. Howard’s stay in Los Angeles was short as he signed on with the Houston Rockets the next summer.
In a recent interview with USA Today’s Sam Amick, Bryant dwelled into his relationship with Howard and discussed how he tried to show the center how to win championships:
It’s very simple. It’s not about three or four years, and I’ve told management this. For me, it’s about making sure the Lakers have the right person in place who’s going to carry this franchise. I tried teaching Dwight. I tried showing him. But the reality is that when you have a perception of what it is to win a championship — and most perceptions of what it’s like to win are a very outgoing, very gregarious locker room where you pick each other up and you’re friends all the time. That’s the perception. And I think that’s what his perception was of what the idea is. But when he saw the reality of it, it made him uncomfortable. And it’s very tough to be able to fight through that, to deal with that challenge. And I don’t think he was willing to deal with that uncomfortable and combative nature.
The two reportedly failed to get along during their lone season together. Howard’s happy go lucky attitude often clashed with Bryant’s competitiveness. Even on separate teams, Howard and Bryant feuded with other when the Rockets faced the Lakers earlier this season. Despite their supposed sour relationship, Howard expressed sadness over Bryant’s recent injury and discussed his winning legacy.
Following Howard’s departure, the Lakers haven’t been the same as the team still finds themselves rebuilding. Despite the end result, Bryant revealed he wouldn’t change the way he handled Howard while he was in Los Angeles.[divide]