Following the Lakers’ 95-83 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday, Howard complained to reporters about getting only five shots, while Bryant was 7 of 22. Howard apologized for those comments after Wednesday’s shootaround, calling them “immature.”
One example of the rocky relationship between the two Western Conference All-Star starters, according to a league source, was a game this season when Howard harped to a teammate about the disparity between his and Bryant’s shots while sitting on the bench. The teammate called Bryant over so Howard could tell it to Bryant’s face, but the center refused to speak up.
Speaking before Wednesday’s game, D’Antoni said he hoped the morning meeting helped.
“I hope it is (a positive thing),” the coach said. “That’s the purpose of just trying to move forward, and hopefully it is. We’ll see. We’re in a rut right now, so the time to stand up, draw a line in the sand would be now.
“Obviously, our problems were the chemistry was not clicking. You try, ‘OK, I’ll push that guy, I’ll pull that guy,’ and you hope things overcome that and it didn’t. It didn’t. Now you get down to brass tactics and open your heart up and let everything be raw and see if we can solve some of the problems or the issues and just go forward.”
Pau Gasol was disappointed the meeting was publicized.
For more on this story visit: Dave McMenamin, ESPNLosAngeles.com