Posted June 04, 2013

Kobe Bryant: I want to have the ‘final word’ with Dwight Howard in free agency

NBA
Kobe Bryant wants to have the "last word" with Dwight Howard before the free agent decides on his next move. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant wants to have the “final word” with Dwight Howard before the free agent decides on his next move. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant isn’t sure whether soon to be free-agent center Dwight Howard is aiming to return to the team for another run at a championship. But he does want to make sure that he has the “final word” with Howard before he makes his ultimate decision.

“For me, you kind of let him do his due diligence and then move in and talk to him and figure out if this is a place he wants to be,” Bryant said in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin.

“We all want him here. But then that’s when the selling begins [after Howard is courted by other teams]. You don’t start the selling process right before he goes and does all this stuff. You want to get the last word. You want to have the final word and the closing argument.

“I’ll give him a little opening statement, but then I have to make sure I have the final word.”

Along with Bryant’s own health in his road back from surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg, Howard’s status is the biggest question facing the Lakers heading into the offseason.

Where Howard will go has quickly become anyone’s guess. He is reportedly intrigued by the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and Golden State Warriors.

One advantage the Lakers have in upcoming negotiations with Howard is the ability to offer him more money to stay in Los Angeles. Under the collective bargaining agreement, Howard can sign a five-year, $118 million contract to stay with the Lakers, or a four-year, $87.6 million deal with another team. The Lakers, however, will be hamstrung in any attempt to improve their roster if they re-sign Howard.

As for Bryant’s health, though, he hopes that is less of a question. He is aiming to play in the Lakers’ season-opener later this year.

“I hope so,” Bryant told ESPN.com “That’s the challenge. With the tendon, there’s really only but so much you can do.”


39 comments
robert O
robert O

MJ's personal life was much more disfunctional than Kobe's but there was very different press coverage then. You can't compare apples and oranges--Babe Ruth to Henry Aaron to anybody of the modern era.

Jkazmer19
Jkazmer19

You're making over half the teams salary cap next year. Why not leave it up to the persons paying your butts?

CPUtalking2U
CPUtalking2U

How about the OWNER  has the last word Kiddo

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

Of course Kobe does.  He knows he near the end of his career and he desperately wants another title, his 6th to equal the number of titles Jordan has.  While Dwight is a mental midget, he is still a force when he is on the court.  Last yrs numbers weren't great for him after his back surgery, but they were still very good and I'l imagine that his numbers will be better this coming yr than last yr.  Kobe knows that if Dwight leaves, his chances for a title this coming yr plummet from not very good even with Dwight to not gonna happen without Dwight...  Kobe is thinking about Kobe first, second and third.  He'll tell Dwight during this chat that they will all have better health next yr and they'll win the title and then he'll (Kobe) ride off into the sunset so Dwight will be the man going forward in L.A.  I don't think they'll win the title next yr even with Dwight, but on the small chance they some how pull it off, Kobe will then say you can't break up the champs and fresh off of his 6th title, he'll smell blood in the water and go for #7 to have more than Michael.  Again, I don't think it will happen but whatever he will tell Dwight in his little chat with the mental midget will be all about and for Kobe, but it will be packaged as all for Dwight.

CucamongaKing
CucamongaKing

Kobe you FOOL

Why don't you describe to every other team how you will do it.

I love Kobe, but he has always had the maturity of an 18 year old.

Tim Cook
Tim Cook

Maybe DH would listen to kobe,if kobe was bout 10 yrs younger

6marK6
6marK6

Way to force a fast becoming irrelevant player like Kobe into the spotlight. Couldn't care less if Howard goes back to the Lakers or not, it is not like they made magic happen together.

timmottly1
timmottly1

The Lakers would be wise to let both of them go and start the process of rebuilding. Kobe is just about finished, and Dwight Howard isn't worth the headache.....

mweinrott
mweinrott

Too bad OJ's in prison.  Otherwise he could help find the real rapist.

geewhiz
geewhiz

Doesn't matter if he stays or leaves.  This team is done title contending for quite a while.

John4
John4

Kobe wants a lot of things.  Maybe he could buy himself a little class and dignity with all that money.  

6marK6
6marK6

@Sportsfan18 Curious, do you think six rings is the most any player has? Let you in on a secret, several players have more than that. Bill Russell led his team to nine. Heck, Magic had five in a 10X more challenging era.

dpmusic21
dpmusic21

@6marK6how does anyone come to the conclusion that Kobe is fast becoming irrelevant?  Dude has one of the top five selling jerseys in the league. He is in the top five of endorsed athletes in all of sports not to mention, being in the top three in scoring in the NBA.  I'm just curious to know how you come to the conclusion that he is fast becoming irrelevant considering his elite status as an NBA player and top endorser in the world of sports.

6marK6
6marK6

@timmottly1 They would be wise to do that, but the current management is not wise. They could tear down and rebuild and be a force again in three years, but that will not play in Hollywood.

DennisReneV.Soliman
DennisReneV.Soliman

@John4 past is past   john.. it's not about him being a felon and why associate his past with trying to woo dwight to re -sign with the lakers...duh what's the connection?

ITATTRACTS
ITATTRACTS

@John4 he'll make sure to stop by your house first, because you're so above him. 

Ryan1
Ryan1

@6marK6 @Sportsfan18  

In the modern era, MJ is the barometer of success - Russell did it with far fewer teams in the league in what was a different era

 Now even if Kobe gets 6 or 7 titles, only two of the titles came when Kobe was the man on his team. Shaq was the primary reason they won the first three, and was far more important and dominant to his team and the league, than Bryant ever was or will be.

 When we look back at the post Jordan era, the player that really should stand out in terms of excellence and winning, is Tim Duncan

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@6marK6 @Sportsfan18 I realize many have more than 6 but it's been well publicized in many articles that Kobe cares about equaling Michael.  This isn't something I made up and it has nothing to do with those who have more than 6 rings.

6marK6
6marK6

@dpmusic21 @6marK6 Does he outsell Jordan in merchandise? Now, does Jordan play anymore? You see, just because he is using past accomplishments to move merchandise, does not mean he is relevant as a player anymore. Unless, you believe his monetary wealth is more important than his current impact on the court?

John4
John4

@ITATTRACTS It Attracts - If YOU'RE asking me if I have more class and dignity than Kobe, don't.  Clearly I do, as does much of society.  He has money.  He has no class or dignity.  As far as stopping by my house, again, don't.  I don't let felons in my house.  Even felons with money.  Just because Kobe was able to pay off the rape victim, it doesn't change what he is.  Having him come by my house is a horrifying thought.  He is not welcome at my house.  Neither are you.  

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@JulesG @Ryan1 @6marK6 @Sportsfan18 I get your point and it wasn't me that threw it out there.  I'm less concerned with the number of rings.  Even if Kobe were to somehow make it to 7, he isn't better than Michael.  Kobe is great, lock HOF and on and on.  I won't say he isn't close to MJ, but he isn't better than MJ.  Anyway, the article above was about Kobe wanting the final say with Dwight.  My original comment much further above was about why he would want that.  He wants it because he will be a Laker next yr, whenever he returns from his injury.  He's said on record that he plays for championships.  If Dwight were to sign with another team, LA's chances of winning the title don't improve.  Kobe knows and has said he wants Dwight to resign with the Lakers.  Kobe knows he doesn't have much time left in the league and if the Lakers don't have Dwight next year than it's another of his precious few yrs left in the league where he won't win a championship.  Others have responded to me about who has more titles and this article and my original comment had nothing to do with who has more titles.  Others then talked about others like Duncan who deserve more recognition (which is true) but again isn't what the article or my original comment was about.  Now others are bringing MJ into it, so yes I mentioned him too, but we've all gone down a rabbit hole vs. deal with what the article was about, which was Kobe wanting the last word with Dwight.  I was simply offering reasons why I thought he wanted to do this and it spiraled into much more.

Craig9
Craig9

@JulesG - "The fact is that they won with each other and the only one to win without the other was Kobe."

Not true... Shaq won a title with the Miami Heat (without Kobe)

JulesG
JulesG

@Ryan1 @6marK6 @Sportsfan18 Why do fans ALWAYS throw that out there, like Kobe had a choice in playing with Shaq? The fact is that they won with each other and the only one to win without the other was Kobe. Jordan never had to play beside a player as dominant as Shaq, yet you always see people comparing them? Why? Is it not a great accomplishment to become a superstar BEHIND a superstar? Is it not an accomplishment to be a High School player beating out many veterans to not only earn a spot, but become a staple for your franchise? Kobe has done some amazing things, and yet, people always want to stop and compare him to MJ. What sense does that make? Either you are a Kobe fan, or you are going to stay in the past and be a MJ fan and down everyone because of him. But I never see the logic in that at all, other than that so many people do not like Kobe and HAVE to have something negative to say about his career, despite being great and a lock for HOF. No other player in my memory gets treated that way, but Kobe. All to protect MJ's legacy....

Jay1217
Jay1217

@Sportsfan18 @6marK6  I am not disagreeing with you. As I stated earlier, I was merely elaborating on the six plus rings. Just an addition, not a contradiction to your comment. 

Jay1217
Jay1217

@SukeMadiq Did I say anything that would lead you to believe I thought otherwise?

Jay1217
Jay1217

@Sportsfan18 @Jay1217 @6marK6

My comment was in response to your statement (and I quote) "do you think six rings is the most any player has? Let you in on a secret, several players have more than that. Bill Russell led his team to nine. Heck, Magic had five in a 10X more challenging era."

I was just elaborating on those who have 6 or more. Not anything else. 

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@Jay1217 @6marK6 @Sportsfan18 My point has nothing to do with who has the most rings.  It has to do with some of the reasons why Kobe wants to have the last word with Dwight.  Kobe wants another championship and he thinks/knows his odds are better with Dwight than without Dwight.  He doesn't want the last word with Dwight because he's chasing 10 or more rings...

CleatusTank
CleatusTank

@Jay1217 @6marK6 @Sportsfan18 But very few of those players are considered the best ever.  So to be considered the best ever he would have to at least equal jordans rings.  

dpmusic21
dpmusic21

 @6marK6 @dpmusic21   nobody especially in basketball is on the level of Jordan.  Whether we are talking about a historical impact on the game, or relevancy from a wealth and endorsement standpoint.  To throw Michael Jordan into the equation is like comparing the pop singers today to Michael Jackson or the Beatles.   What we are discussing here is Kobe's relevancy as it pertains to your comment. The man is a perennial all star and a consistent all NBA first team including this pass year.  It doesn't get anymore relevant than that. 

JulesG
JulesG

@John4 @ITATTRACTS The classy thing would have been to not come to a Kobe thread to call him classless, which shows you have no f*ASDJRing clue what class is, but felt confident enough to stand on a virtual soapbox. That is NOT class at all.

EasyGoer
EasyGoer

You shouldn't use the word "uneducated" when you can barely type a coherent sentence and don't know how to use capital letters and punctuation.

Thelakers1
Thelakers1

@ITATTRACTS 

class woiuld be defined by calling a guy a felon when the court of law has proven him not guilty.  Read the case and facts.  Society has conditioned you to be ignorant of factual information.  Give your brain a shot of adrenaline and read something other than Si, ESPN, or the NFL network,  

Athletes are just over paid un-educated people that make way too much money.  


Whats sad is your probably know all of lebrons stats since he was born, but no clue how to solve a simple math question.