Kobe Bryant seems to have predicted Dwight Howard’s lackluster stint with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012, said it wasn’t going to work.
The Los Angeles Lakers ushered in the new decade by claiming their second straight NBA title in 2010 after having gone through a 7 game gauntlet against the Boston Celtics. The Lakers looked to 3-peat but couldn’t quite get the job done as Kobe Bryant suffered, according to him, “the worst ankle sprain,” of his career in the Playoffs. The Lakers would get booted from the Playoffs by the Mavericks in 2011.
In an effort to further capitalize on Kobe Bryant’s prime, the Lakers looked to acquire Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in the 2011 offseason. This didn’t work out however as David Stern refused to veto the CP3 trade. The Lakers would eventually receive Howard in a massive 4-team trade on August 10th, 2012.
Dwight Howard’s departure from the Orlando Magic was fueled by disagreements with the defensive minded head coach Stan Van Gundy and the fact that the Magic had fallen out of title contention after having made the Finals against Kobe’s Lakers in 2009,
The exact moment Kobe Bryant knew Dwight Howard wasn’t going to work on the Lakers.
Prior to the commencement of the 2012-13 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers now had a supposed superteam with Kobe Bryant at the helm, with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol backing him up. Right at the start of this season, Jalen Rose sat down with ESPN’s Jorge Sedona and gave his tell-all on how Bryant felt about the Dwight trade.
“I was standing right next to Kobe at his camp when he first talked to Dwight Howard. Imma say this now because they made amends. I’ve never said this before. When he got on the phone with Dwight, I was right there and Dwight was excited. He was asking him about LA. He was asking him about how he was going to help him, make him better.”
“After he asked all those questions, you know what Kobe said? ‘Imma show you mofo how to win a championship. What do you think about that? He got off the phone and said, ‘his head is not in the right place. This ain’t gonna work.’”
Whatever Kobe Bryant heard from Howard on the day of that fateful call, helped him perfectly predict what was in store for the Los Angeles Lakers that season.
The Lakers would deal with a bevy of issues all revolving around the former DPOY. Whether it was his distaste for Kobe taking too many shots, his nagging shoulder injury, or the fact that he didn’t completely agree with D’Antoni’s offensive schemes, his actions served as a catalyst for the eventual downfall of the purple and gold.