Years after a disappointing first tour of duty with the Lakers, Dwight Howard is back in Hollywood. While he’s no longer a superstar, Howard has excelled in his role off the bench, providing L.A. with solid defense and rebounding.
Unexpectedly, one of his biggest supporters is Kobe Bryant. The former teammates’ bad blood from their lone season together has been well documented from both sides. Bryant labeled Howard “soft” and the big man has said he hated the former NBA MVP “for years” for making that comment. However, watching from afar this time, Bryant is thrilled for Howard’s success.
“I’m happy for him because sometimes we don’t realize how much we love the game and miss the game until that window starts closing or its closed,” Bryant said to The Los Angeles Times’ Arash Markazi. “Then you’re like, ‘Oh damn, I really miss playing the game. I want another opportunity to show what I can do.’ Sometimes you don’t know if that opportunity will ever come again. For him, I really believe he’s appreciative of the opportunity and I think he’s going to make a hell of an impact because of the new appreciation he has for playing the game.”
Check out more Lakers notes below:
- The acquisition of Anthony Davis has helped make the Lakers a legitimate Finals contender, but the All-Star is content doing less in Los Angeles so that both he and LeBron James can impact the game, Brett Dawson of The Athletic writes.
- There has been a lot of chatter about Davis and whether or not he’s more effective playing the power forward or center positions. Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register opines that L.A.’s best lineup may include Davis at center and that the return of Kyle Kuzma only further accentuates that point.
- Speaking of Kuzma, the forward made his season debut on Friday night, totaling nine points and three rebounds in nearly 19 minutes. Head coach Frank Vogel has noted that the team will patient with Kuzma as he reintegrates with the team. “It’ll be a little bit of a learning curve for him, but hopefully it doesn’t take too long,” Vogel said.