Kobe Bryant wants to win so bad, he’s not worried about how he makes his teammates feel on his quest to do so. In this instance, he’s butting heads with Dwight Howard who’s trying to recover from a shoulder injury, while also still working towards getting his back to 100%, and deciding on whether or not L.A. is the place he wants to continue his career.
With that being the case, Kobe’s not doing the Lakers any favors by calling out Howard the way he has this season as the Lakers hope and pray the center will anchor their team in the post-Kobe era.
The Lakers didn’t do themselves any favors with the way they started this season and now they find themselves in a position where every loss seems like 2 as their still fighting their way back to .500 and eventually a playoff spot. Making matters worse is all the injuries to the front court including Pau Gasol’s latest setback. The team needs Howard to get back asap because of it, and leave it to Kobe to express that publicly like only he will:
ESPN: “We don’t have time for (Howard’s shoulder) to heal,” Bryant said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with ESPNBoston.com’s Jackie MacMullan. “We need some urgency.”
“Dwight worries too much about what people think,” Bryant told MacMullan. “I told him, ‘You can’t worry about that. It’s holding you back.’ He says, ‘OK, OK, OK,’ but it’s always hovering around him.
“He just wants people to like him. He doesn’t want to let anyone down, and that gets him away from what he should be doing.”
“(Howard) has never been in a position where someone is driving him as hard as I am, as hard as this organization is,” Bryant told MacMullan. “It’s win a championship or everything is a complete failure. That’s just how (the Lakers) do it. And that’s foreign to him.
“When you think about it, there aren’t many organizations that look at it that way. There are only two that can really honestly say that’s what they live by — Los Angeles and Boston.”
Kobe clearly wants Howard’s help as the Lakers try and make their playoff push because without him, Pau, and Jordan Hill, this team chances of winning fall dramatically– even with Kobe. Yet and still, Dwight isn’t worried about what Kobe says about his injury. He played through pain in his back last season and we know how that ended up for him. He’s keeping that in mind and firing back at Kobe with this:
PBT: “That’s his opinion. That’s it. He’s not a doctor, I’m not a doctor.”’
“”I want to play, I mean, why wouldn’t I want to play? But, at the same time, this is my career, this is my future, this is my life. I can’t leave that up to anybody else because nobody else is going to take care of me. So, if people are pissed off that I don’t play or if I do play, whatever it may be, so what? This is my career. If I go down, then what? Everybody’s life is going to go on. I don’t want to have another summer where I’m rehabbing and trying to get healthy again. I want to come back and have another great year. That’s what I want to do.”
He’s got a point. He’s got to make sure his body is right before he goes out there again. This is the second time he’s aggravated the injury so chances are if he rushes back, he could re-aggravate it for a third time potentially making it much worse. There’s no easy answers for the Lakers here. It’s just been that type of season. More drama than wins. This is not the Hollywood script Lakers fans want to see play out. Not at all.