Despite their struggles playing alongside one another during the 2012-2013 season, Kobe Bryant seems to be singing a different tune regarding former teammate Dwight Howard this time around. Howard, now well past his prime, returns to Los Angeles a humble player looking for any minutes he can get – a far cry from the 2012 version of Howard that was considered one of the league’s biggest superstars.
Follow the Heavy Los Angeles Lakers page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Kobe Bryant Thinks Dwight Howard is ‘Ready’ for the Lakers This Time Around
Kobe and Dwight notoriously clashed over Howard’s lack of work ethic, something which Kobe could be somewhat alluding to in his advice for Howard. Saying to focus on improving throughout the season rather than simply maintaining, Kobe knows firsthand what Dwight’s workout tendencies are and could possibly be speaking from experience in playing a season alongside the Lakers’ (new?) big man.
That said, Kobe seems to think Howard is going to be up to the task this time around. Rather than a high-maintenance superstar, the Lakers now take on an older veteran traded in a salary dump before being bought out by one of the league’s worst teams. The circumstances are drastically different and while there is pressure on Howard to prove he deserves his spot on the roster, he won’t be expected to be the future face of the franchise.
In a more limited role, (slightly) further removed from the spotlight, and with a better mindset, it seems this could be the perfect storm of circumstances to have a successful reuniting of Howard and the Lakers. All Howard will be asked to do is to rebound, block shots, and catch lobs – allowing him to take the most advantage of his still freakish athletic gifts and hopefully provide some resistance to the league’s larger interior bruisers.
Kobe Bryant & Dwight Howard’s 2012-2013 Season
The lone season in the Dwight Howard experiment for the Lakers went about as wrong as humanly possible. The two struggled to find chemistry on the court in the early season and stumbled out of the gate. Despite starting to figure things out as the season went along, the Lakers suffered a colossal blow when Bryant went down with a ruptured Achilles’ against the Golden State Warriors.
Howard would go on to lead the Lakers to a lackluster playoff showing where he was ejected in the elimination game and was absent for extended periods of time. Despite assuming the lead option role on offense, Howard’s PPG and RPG averages would drop in the playoffs as the Lakers and Howard looked lost without the veteran leadership of Bryant. While the playoff showing doesn’t rest squarely on Dwight’s shoulders, the Lakers needed more from their superstar big man.
Even though the Lakers were able to put more money on the table for Howard, he opted to take a slight pay cut and leave Los Angeles for the Houston Rockets – ending his tumultuous lone year for the purple and gold.