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Kobe Bryant does not want to convince Dwight Howard to stay with Lakers

Dwight Howard Kobe BryantKobe Bryant has made it clear that he wants free agent Dwight Howard back with the Los Angeles Lakers, but there is only so far he will go in an effort to sell the big man on sticking with the team.

In an interview with Lakers.com, Bryant explained what he makes Howard so good.

“I think his talent level, his defensive prowess. We saw what he could do at the end of the year when we all started clicking … I think that makes him extremely, extremely valuable,” Bryant told the Lakers’ website.

Though Bryant wants Howard back, he says it is important for Howard to want to sign with the Lakers.

“It has to be his decision,” Bryant told reporter Mike Trudell. “The last thing you want to do is convince a person that they want to be here. If you have to convince them when challenges or adversity comes up next season, it’s very easy to say, ‘Well they had to convince me to be here anyway, I really didn’t want to be here, I’d rather be (somewhere else) but they sold me on it.’

“You want it to be his decision. When it’s something that’s rooted inside of him, it’s something he champions. I just want to be there to assist his decision.”

[Related: Lakers get desperate in effort to convince Dwight Howard to stay]

Bryant called the Lakers a “class organization” and compared the franchise to the Yankees.

“This is the best as it gets.”

The question is: does Dwight Howard feel the same way? Howard was set to meet with the Houston Rockets on Sunday night as free agency began. He might not think the Lakers provide the best situation for him, which is probably why Bryant would be hesitant to push him into a situation he does not want. Howard is expected to announce his decision on July 10.



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