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Kobe denies report of poor recruiting call with Howard

Feb 7, 2012, 1:28 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant Dwight Howard Getty Images

We passed along the report over the weekend, one that cropped up in a couple places, that a conversation where Kobe Bryant tried to recruit Dwight Howard to Los Angeles turned off the center. That Kobe told Howard that the offensive options would be first Kobe, then Pau Gasol, then Howard. Which struck me as something Kobe is too savvy to say in recruiting a guy, but that was the rumor.

Peter Vecsey of the New York Post asked Kobe about it. And as you knew would happen, Kobe shot it down.

“omg! I’m not getting mixed up in this kiddy drama spit, bro. too old for that spit,” Bryant responded via email.

“How do you think I feel at my age having to chase down this stuff,” I answered. “I understand your position. But if it’s untrue, any of it, and allowed to circulate throughout the league, which already is happening, I would think you’d want to say it’s not.”

“It’s not true,” Kobe responded.

First off, you know Kobe didn’t use the word “spit.” Rhymes with “spit” but that’s not the word of choice.

Second, of course Kobe said this. Who knows what was actually said in a Kobe/Howard conversation, but what is Kobe going to say now? “Yes, I tried to scare him off.” Of course not.

Third, know that every rumor you hear about Howard is someone trying to spin the situation the direction they want it to go. This rumor had New Jersey as where Howard really wants to go, even though other rumors have said that the Nets had fallen because the team sucks this season and Howard doesn’t want to miss the playoffs (and even if he went there a lot of building is left to do). Everyone is trying to spin the story (and Howard) to where they want him to land.

The truth of the Dwight Howard situation is more about practicality and feasibility. The Magic may eventually come to their senses and decide to move him, but when they do it will be to the team that gives them the best offer. It will be about who takes on Hedo Turkoglu’s deal, too. If Orlando likes Andrew Bynum and assorted goods better than Brook Lopez and slightly better assorted goods, he’s going to Los Angeles. And Howard is going to suddenly sing the praises of wherever he gets sent.

  1. pete611 - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM


    Kinda of hard to visualize him starting off that paragraph the same way my 13 Yr old daughter would.

  2. finsfan4life - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I have a feeling Kobe’s SAT scores were much greater than yours.
    You a grammar consultant now???

    • goforthanddie - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Kobe skipped college, I doubt he took the SAT. But yeah, with “omg” sadly having a place in modern language, there’s nothing wrong with its use here.

      • camnellum12 - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:54 PM

        I know this is a VERY old post, but Kobe scored a 1440 on his SAT. Picked that up from the “Shaq Talks Back” bio.

  3. farvite - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Any chance a Peter King V Peter Vescey celebrity death match could be put on?

  4. goforthanddie - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    I imagine Kobe made it very clear whose team it was (his) and that others would be secondary options (Howard). I don’t see Kobe placing Gasol above Howard in the pecking order, that’s just stupid.

  5. glink123 - Feb 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Actually, Kobe scored 1080 on his SAT.

  6. glink123 - Feb 7, 2012 at 7:33 PM

  7. hoodheisman - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    The claims regarding Gasol instantly killed the credibility of this rumor. Remember, if it wasn’t for Dave Stern, Gasol would be a Houston Rocket. So any claim that Howard would be behind Gasol in the pecking order makes no sense considering the Lakers have already attempted to trade Gasol for a point guard…. and likely will again….

    But the best way to shoot down a bogus rumor is to give an actual quote with a source stating the exact opposite…. like this one:

    “Kobe Lists Bynum As 2nd Option, Not Gasol: ‘Andrew is thirsty to score and he can score. He has more of a scorer’s mentality [than Gasol], so we’ll take advantage of that'”

    Anybody of sane mind and awakened consciousness would agree that if Bynum is a 2nd option over Gasol… then so would Howard.

  8. bknowledge - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    3 team trade rumor:

    Knicks get:
    Dwight Howard
    Monta Ellis

    Orlando gets:
    Carmelo Anthony
    Andris Biedrinis

    G.S. gets:
    Tyson Chandler
    Jason Richardson

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