There may be more things wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers than their poor 15-18 record. According to a report, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are not getting along and nearly fought after a recent loss.
The New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy reports that Bryant and Howard got into a “heated exchange” following the team’s New Year’s Day 103-99 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center. Bondy says Bryant referenced some of Shaq’s criticism of Howard, who has called the big man soft.
Bondy also reported the following:
Howard was restrained from going at his teammate, according to the source, and there have been rumblings from the center’s camp that he’s been unhappy with Bryant since earlier in the season.
After the Lakers’ loss to the Clippers on Jan. 4, Howard then vented about the team’s lack of chemistry.
“Those guys on the Clippers team, they really enjoy each other off the court and it shows,” Howard said Saturday after Lakers practice.
“It really starts off the court. I think you have to have that relationship and that chemistry off the court for it to really blossom on the court. It takes time to develop that. You just don’t come together and then expect to be best friends right away. It just doesn’t happen like that.”
It’s somewhat odd that a Nets beat reporter would have a story about Kobe and Dwight not getting along in LA, but there could be something to it if you read between the lines.
When Howard decided he wanted to leave the Magic, he was said to be most interested in joining the Brooklyn Nets. He was never traded there and instead wound up with the Lakers, which he initially was opposed to. Could this report have come from someone who’s hoping to get Dwight, a free agent after the season, to the Nets? Possibly. But it shouldn’t change whether or not you believe this report is true.
The Lakers are clearly having chemistry problems, and losing often results in teammates not getting along.
UPDATE: Steve Nash, Mike D’Antoni, and Kobe have all denied the report.
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