Once upon a time, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant were on bad terms, but that ended once the former started donning a Los Angeles Lakers uniform for the second time in his career.
Now, Howard plans on honoring the memory of the late Lakers legend during this year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
“On Saturday in Chicago, Howard was asked by reporters if Bryant would somehow be honored or incorporated into one of his dunks,” wrote Malika Andrews of ESPN.com. “He smiled brightly and nodded slightly.
“’You’ll have to wait and see,’ Howard said coyly.”
Before Bryant’s death on Jan. 26, Howard planned on having the former superstar personally assist him during the contest.
Howard, of course, won the dunk contest back in 2008, when he donned a Superman cape. Back then, he was always one of the league leaders in dunks, but multiple injuries and back surgeries have sapped much of his once-legendary athleticism.
This season, Howard is experiencing a renaissance. Coming off the bench for the first time in his career, he has embraced a reduced yet important role in his second go-around with the Lakers.
The Atlanta, Ga. native is averaging 7.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in 19.8 minutes while helping L.A. to a 41-12 record. In doing so, he has entered the good graces of Lakers fans who loathed him not that long ago.