Dwight Howard Finally Opens Up on Why He Hated Kobe Bryant for Several Years - Lakers Daily

Dwight Howard Finally Opens Up on Why He Hated Kobe Bryant for Several Years

Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant Lakers

Former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard had his issues with Kobe Bryant when the two were teammates, but being labelled “soft” led to a hatred that lasted for years. Howard opened up about his longstanding disdain for Bryant during an interview on “Fair Game with Kristine Leahy.”

“[Bryant] had a comment about me being soft,” Howard said. “And, I think for years, I kinda hated him for saying that because I looked at it the wrong way. I think he was more so talking about my mentality, not my physique, or not how I am on the court, like my edge. And I didn’t realize that because of the noise surrounding him saying I was soft. And I hated it. I hated him for that moment.”

Howard had a brief tenure with the Lakers, playing 76 games during the 2012-13 regular season. His nightly averages of 17.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks certainly didn’t suggest that he was “soft” on the court. But the ultra competitive Bryant was concerned about the big man’s approach to the game. Howard was a bit too jovial and playful for his taste.

The two simply could not co-exist. Howard left for the Houston Rockets in 2013, ending a partnership with Bryant that never gained much traction during their lone season together.

Eventually, Howard had a realization about what Bryant truly wanted from him.

“But I realize what he was talking about,” Howard explained. “I said, ‘Okay. That’s it. I get it now.’

“Everybody reaches different levels of maturity at different times, I think at that time I was ignorant to the level that he was at. So I appreciate you, Kobe. Thank you for saying I was soft. I didn’t realize what you meant until now.”

According to an earlier report, Howard would like to rejoin the Lakers this season. With Bryant now retired and Howard seemingly more mature after many years away from the franchise, the door seems to be open for a return. However, another report says the Lakers aren’t interested in a reunion.