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Kobe runs off Howard

caines | 7/11/2013, 5:30 a.m.

One could see the writing on the wall earlier this season forthe Los Angeles Lakers. This bring back Dwight Howard thing was going to become increasingly difficult.One reason could be alate January team meeting in Memphiswhen Kobe Bryanthadripped into Howard in a way that was somewhat shocking, intense, basically Kobe said enough of the clown act from Dwight. Boy did he let him know. Every time you trash me to teammates, it gets back to me, witnesses said Bryant told Howard in the visiting locker room of the FedEx Forum. Every time you do one of your impersonations when I walk out of the room, I find out. Kobe was going off on his superstar teammate, onecriticism after another, and the Lakers coaches and players sat watching the two biggeststars in the room head towards an inevitable collision course. Bryant had longthought the idea that Howard's clownish demeanor could overtake the locker room, the Lakers' culture, and had warned Howard that he would never, ever let it happen. Winning is serious business when it comes to the Black Mamba, hetook no mess fromShaquille O'Neal, but Shaq performed on a championshiplevel for the Lakers and was not all smiles on the court, he was a monster a beast between the lines. As long as he did that Kobe may not have liked his clown act but he would take it. Kobe talked to Dwight in a way that I don't think anyone one had ever talked to him not in Orlando, not here, not in his life, I'm betting, one witness in the room said. He's been coddled, and Kobe wasn't going to coddle him. Despite Howard'sbest effort to recoverfrom his back injury, few believed he had been playing with the proper passion and purpose not the coaches, not the players, not opponents and those within the Lakers understood Howard's most rebellious weapon was never confrontation, but holding back on the court. Laughing when they are up 20 points and still laughing when they were down 20 points. Kobe Bryant like Michael Jordan is very intense, winning is everything. A perceived lack of effort is not acceptable. Dwight Howard had to want to be the next Jabbar, Chamberlain or Shaq to carry on in that great purple and gold legacy. He did not want that, he chose to go to the Houston Rockets where many feel he fits better. Maybe so, even though the Lakers had StayD12 banners plastered all over LA, it is very doubtful that Kobe Bryant was going to stoop to that level and plead for Dwight to stay in LA. In his mind and the minds of many Laker fans, it was good riddance. By The Sports Brothers