It was assumed that Dwight Howard’s dislike of Mike D’Antoni was ultimately the main thing that influenced his decision to leave the Los Angeles Lakers. However, according to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN, Kobe Bryant had a larger influence than what we all thought.
Howard was never attracted to the Lakers unwillingness to present a timetable that would indicate when they were moving on from Kobe Bryant, meaning he could potentially still play second fiddle to Bryant, and for Dwight, that didn’t sit too well.
Howard was a man hungry for power, and the Lakers were unwilling to give it to him.
“As an offshoot of those discussions, sources said, Howard’s camp at one point asked the Lakers whether they were at least considering releasing Bryant through the league’s amnesty provision, since Bryant’s return date from Achilles tendon surgery remained in question.”
Dwight clearly wasn’t the right fit for the Lakers and the city of Los Angeles. He never valued the experience of what it meant to wear the jersey and represent some of the best fans in sports.
For the Lakers, their noncommittal stance to Dwight’s request shows that they still believe Kobe is capable of being the face of the Laker brand, and leading the franchise.
Since Howard’s departure, Kobe has publicly made it known that he intends to play at least three more years, and that his Achilles is improving better than what anyone expected, assuring Laker fans that no matter what happens, the team will be fine as long as he is there.
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