Dwight Howard has been refreshingly honest lately and we are the ones benefiting. Recently he was on “Inside The NBA” where he confronted questions from Charles Barkley about people not liking him and also about how things were going in Houston. We all know before he was in H-town, Dwight had a not so memorable experience playing for the Lakers and with Kobe Bryant. Luckily for us, Dwight was asked about that relationship by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan and he was still in that mindset of being honest about it all, instead of giving your typical “PC” answers.


Kobe Bryant became more vocal of his dislike for Howard after he left for Houston, even having a couple incidents during Rockets/Lakers games but Dwight gave us some detailed insight on how things were when they were teammates. We know it wasn’t good but now we get specifics.

“I wanted Kobe and me to work,” he said. “I just think we were at two different points of our careers. When I went there, people warned me, ‘Dwight, you gotta realize Kobe still wants to be the star.’ My response was, ‘Fine.’ I said the same thing to Steve [Nash]. I wanted to learn from those guys. I wasn’t trying to outshine them.”

Howard also talked about Kobe challenging him through the media to play through a torn labrum and insinuated that he didn’t like it.

“Kobe put some pressure on me,” he said. “He said something like, ‘We don’t have time for Dwight to be hurt.’ The media is asking me, ‘Did you talk to Kobe about your injuries?’ I said, ‘I didn’t realize I was supposed to check with another player about my health.’ When I first got there, I said to Kobe in front of the whole team, ‘The only way we win is if we put our egos aside and play together.’ I wanted to play with him. I don’t know if he didn’t want to play with me—if he felt I wasn’t a killer like him.”

Dwight also explained it was more than his issues with Kobe that led him to leave for Houston. It was the Lakers culture as a whole.

“I just felt like it wasn’t a team,” he said. “I wanted a team. There were things that went on during the season that made me feel like I wasn’t a part of it, like the thing with Kobe and my shoulder. People were saying, ‘Dwight’s so strong, he’s Superman, he should play through it.’ It was a torn labrum. I should have had surgery, but I didn’t. I came back instead. I’ll never forget the game we played against the Celtics in Boston [on Feb. 7, 2013]. I hadn’t practiced for a while—I had just been working on the treadmill. But I played in Boston. We got blown out. Coach [Mike D’Antoni] still had me in when we were down 30. After the game, I’m walking off the court and a Lakers fan throws his jersey and hits me in the face. It was my name on that jersey. I will never forget that the rest of my life.”

Let’s hope Dwight continues being so open and honest because we are all tired of the same, dry answers from athletes anytime they are asked tough questions.