Dwight Howard details major differences between playing with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Dwight Howard had an interesting but relatable take on the differences between playing with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“LeBron’s almost at like somebody from the south side of Georgia,” Howard said. “We acting kind of like twins. Joking, silly, have a good time. We get on the court, we still gonna have a good time but we’re gonna dominate. Kobe, he not bulls—ing with nobody. He might not come to the locker room to talk. So he’s just gonna walk all the way past us.”

Howard and James were Lakers teammates in the 2019-20 season when they won the NBA championship and again in the 2021-22 campaign, in which they fell far short of the playoffs.

The Atlanta native was primarily a reserve on those teams late in his 18-season NBA career. In fact, the Lakers reportedly see recently acquired Jaxson Hayes as someone who could fill a role similar to the one Howard played for the 2020 champions.

The center and Bryant played together during the 2012-13 season, which ended with the Lakers getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. Howard was the second-leading scorer behind Bryant on that club but left for the Houston Rockets as a free agent that ensuing offseason.

Howard’s assessments certainly jibe with the personality history of the all-time greats. James often speaks of his joy playing the game, and Bryant was almost as well known for his “Mamba Mentality” as he was for his ability.

Howard reportedly hasn’t given up on playing with James again, with the 37-year-old recently naming the Lakers as a team he could make an impact for after playing last season in Taiwan.

Though the Lakers have yet to make a decision on adding a veteran center this offseason, recent off-court issues could make it difficult for Howard to get a reunion. Last month, he received backlash for a video of him pushing his son to continue exercising despite crying, and he also reportedly is being sued for assault and battery by a man he allegedly met on Instagram.

The Lakers might want to avoid any headaches like that after having a very successful offseason following an unexpected trip to the Western Conference Finals. They were able to re-sign Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura while also adding Hayes, Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish and Taurean Prince.

James is preparing to play his 21st NBA season, and the 38-year-old likely would have a big say in bringing Howard back to the Lakers if the opportunity were to present itself.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.