After the Lakers’ win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, Kobe Bryant tweeted his praise of Dwight Howard’s dominant play and shouted him out for visiting him in the hospital not once, but twice on Saturday–the day Kobe underwent surgery to repair a fully ruptured left Achilles tendon:
D12 was a beast. He stopped by the hospital twice yesterday to check on big bro that’s luv #countond12
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 15, 2013
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, Howard felt the need to visit Bryant because he empathized with Vino’s current situation, explaining, “I know how he feels. It hurts. I just wanted to be there.”
Howard, of course, was sidelined towards the end of last season when he was still with the Orlando Magic, after undergoing back surgery; a surgery which was severe enough to threaten his career and has taken him the entirety of this season to finally start looking like the dominant force he was so accustomed to being.
Apparently, Dwight’s commitment to his teammate and Lakers’ top gun–Kobe Bryant–isn’t one he’s going to easily let go.
Dwight Howard posted an Instagram photo of Jodie Meeks “passed out” while the two were on the way to Bryant’s house on Monday.
A couple hours later, Bryant posted this photo of the three of them together along with the caption following:
“D12 and Jodi “get buckets” Meeks stopped by the crib to check on big bro #countonteamates #lakers #playoffs”
It’s certainly good to see the team camaraderie and especially the support of one superstar by another. One thing to take notice of is how Bryant welcomed his teammates into his home. Once upon a time, longtime teammate and a good friend of Bryant’s, Derek Fisher, noted that he had never been inside Kobe’s house; despite the two being as close as brothers, Kobe simply preferred to keep his professional and private lives separate.
However, perhaps experiencing basketball withdrawals and going stir crazy from being ordered to be virtually immobile for the next two weeks, Kobe may have decided having a couple teammates come by to talk hoops–and a hopeful a playoff run–would be good for his spirits and sanity.
More importantly, although the Lakers are still currently focused on making the playoffs and then taking it from there, perhaps the personal connection between the two superstars at this juncture will form an even stronger bond going into next season.
I truly believe that Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard have a solid working relationship, but as they’ve both admitted having differing personalities, perhaps connecting on a level outside of basketball will only strengthen the understanding between one another.
Similarly, Kobe seems to only have that “killer instinct”–in which he’s ultra serious–throughout the season, simply because it’s how his mentality works.
During the off-season, when not trekking through a grueling NBA season, the Black Mamba alter ego seems to disappear and Kobe appears to be a relatively fun-loving person. It’s possible that the always fun-loving Dwight Howard is getting the chance to see a different side of Bryant as well.
Personally, I’m waiting on an Instagram photo of them playing NBA 2k together.
In the meantime, I’m sure Bryant is likely still very much discussing strategy and giving inspiration to his comrades in an effort to help them go as far as possible in the playoffs.
Nonetheless, it’s definitely a nice gesture by Dwight Howard–and Jodie Meeks–to visit the fallen future Hall of Famer during one of the darkest periods of his career.
The bond and trust will only grow stronger as the Black Mamba plots his comeback.
In case you missed it, be sure to check out what Mitch Kupchak had to say about the Lakers amnestying Kobe Bryant!
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