While its been documented Dwight Howard’s relationship with Kobe Bryant was rocky, a run in I had with both players during last years All-Star weekend in Houston (ironically) gave me great insight on what went wrong.
While blaming Dwight is easy and understandable because of how he departed Orlando, the lack of effort on Bryant’s part to have an off the court relationship with the young center really rubbed Howard the wrong way.
While walking through the player’s hotel at All-Star weekend, I ran into Dwight and because of my coverage in Orlando we knew each other. After walking back into the Western Conference locker room and catching up on things, him telling me about Los Angeles and me telling him how Orlando hasn’t been the same since he left, Kobe walked in.
Bryant with one of his daughters entered the locker room and seemed to be in a good mood.
Kobe acknowledge everyone in the room but Howard, changed his clothes, took a picture with a fan and left without even making eye contact with his All-Star center.
“See that’s the (expletive) I’m talking about,” Howard said to me.
Dwight then went on to tell me how he tried different ways to build a relationship with Kobe but just didn’t feel like it was a two-way street.
Howard who’s known for his strong Christian beliefs even attempted to share bible quotes with Bryant.
“He just doesn’t put forth any effort, I’ve tried to build that bond but he makes no effort,” Howard continued.
Its obvious Bryant wasn’t looking to be a big brother or babysitter while Howard had no interest in being ignored and in the shadow of another player.
I don’t know if Howard left Los Angeles because he didn’t like Kobe but what I do know is Bryant didn’t make it easy.