Dwight Howard calls cap on Jalen Rose’s story about Kobe Bryant doubting center’s fit on Lakers in 2012

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

In 2012, Dwight Howard, who was then in his prime, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and fans of the team had visions of yet another NBA championship.

But after the season turned into a failure, Howard left the team the following summer in free agency.

ESPN’s Jalen Rose told a story about how Kobe Bryant reacted to Howard being sent to L.A., but the veteran center claims the story is false.


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Jalen Rose and Dwight Howard

“I was speaking at his camp the day he heard Dwight Howard was gonna get traded to them,” Rose said of Bryant. “So Kob take the call, and I was sitting there. I might have heard some of the conversation, and I might have heard Dwight asking him about L.A. and some of the off-the-court things. Kob got off the phone and said, ‘This s— ain’t gonna work.’ This is before he even laced up with him one time. He said, ‘His head ain’t even right. I’m here to help you get championships. You’re asking me about producers?’ He’s like, ‘This ain’t gonna work.'”

Back then, Howard was arguably the game’s best rebounder and defender. Bryant was at the tail end of his prime, and it was thought that Howard’s presence and ability to get easy points off lobs would reinvigorate an aging Lakers team.

But the squad was hit big time by the injury bug, Bryant tore his Achilles near the end of the regular season, and L.A. got swept in the first round of the playoffs.

Afterward, Howard bounced around from team to team while his reputation as a prima donna who feuded with his costars only grew.

In 2019, just when it seemed no team wanted him, the Lakers took a flyer on him, and Bryant gave his blessing.

It turned out to be one of the better redemption stories in recent memory. Howard became a team player, and the Lakers won the world title that season.

Now, Howard is back with the team, and the team is hoping to make some serious noise in the playoffs after another disappointing, injury-riddled campaign.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.