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Dwight Howard fires back at Kobe, says he has to watch out for himself

Feb 7, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard AP

Well Dwight Howard, you wanted to be the man on a bigger stage. Welcome to all that entails.

Howard has been banged up this season and while he’s been good he has not been the dominant force Lakers fans expected. And now they need him to be — the Lakers are trying to make a playoff push and a lot of that falls on the shoulders of Dwight Howard to be a leader with Pau Gasol out injured for six weeks (at least).

It falls on Howard’s shoulder, the one with a torn labrum he has struggled to play through. And the bad back that hasn’t been right all season. He’s been out the last three games because of the shoulder. Kobe Bryant decided to push Howard in a very Kobe and very public way, saying the team needs him and to just suck it up.

Howard didn’t like that at all, and shot back at shootaround in Boston Thursday. Howard went through shootaround but is a game-time decision tonight. Here is what Howard said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. On Kobe telling him to play:

“That’s his opinion. That’s it. He’s not a doctor, I’m not a doctor.”’

What really boiled Howard’s blood was calling his competitiveness into question.

“”I want to play, I mean, why wouldn’t I want to play? But, at the same time, this is my career, this is my future, this is my life. I can’t leave that up to anybody else because nobody else is going to take care of me. So, if people are pissed off that I don’t play or if I do play, whatever it may be, so what? This is my career. If I go down, then what? Everybody’s life is going to go on. I don’t want to have another summer where I’m rehabbing and trying to get healthy again. I want to come back and have another great year. That’s what I want to do.”

Kobe did backtrack a little at shootaround, saying he doesn’t know how Howard’s body feels.

Howard has said recently that he tried to play through back issues last year and it made them worse and forced the surgery he had and that he is still struggling to overcome. Howard said he learned a lesson from that.

And Howard knows he is a free agent next summer, he’s looking at a max deal. He’ll get that so long as the injuries don’t hold teams back.

For his first seven years in the league Howard was basically injury free, missing just four games. But the last couple years have been a struggle for the 27-year-old physically and he is struggling to deal with this.

My feeling is Kobe’s message got through, Howard will play against the Celtics. But how many more games before he aggravates that shoulder again? Can he really play through it and be effective? Can he lead the Lakers on the defensive end?

As I have said before, at the start of the season it was a lock Howard would re-sign with the Lakers this summer. Now I think it’s still likely, but that lock is open and other teams are going to try to push through that door.

  1. goraidersgospurs - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Kobe always think he can push people around try with shaq, Andrew now Dwight!!!

    • tsi431 - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      How did that pushing people around work out for the Lakers?

      5 NBA titles in 12 years. I will take it. 7 Conference titles in 12 years.

      • lmoneyfresh - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        Couldn’t have had anything to do with Phil right? Shocking how many rings Kobe has without him.

      • cosanostra71 - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        I’m sure Phil had something to do with it. Just like Phil had something to do with it for Michael Jordan as well. Coaching is a huge part of the equation for any team.

      • kinggw - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        That wasnt because of Kobe’s want to be Jordan attitude.

        That was due to talent assembled around him.You know they had some guy named Shaq in his prime who dominated the league. During the last two championships they had two legitimate 7 footers and a matchup nightmare in 6’11 Odom that were instrumental. Kobe is a phenomenal talent but we’ve seen that he can’t do it by himself. Lets not act like he is solely responsible for the Lakers success over the last 12 years you’ve referenced.

      • dmcannon99 - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        I’m sorry, can you name a player that has won any championship all by himself? Where do you folks come up with these statements? Or, better yet, why?

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      Kobe has played with numerous injuries, taped his broken pinky finger to his ring finger
      for nearly an entire season and won a Championship. I expect nothing less from the leader
      and sometimes he feels that guys should man up. I agree with everything Howard said.

      • kinggw - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Dont think a pinky finger is as important or as painful as a torn labrum.

      • lmoneyfresh - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        You just compared a finger to a torn labrum. Not even close to the same, especially for a center who gets beat to hell every game.

      • obammer - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        kinggw, Kobe actually has had and played through a torn labrum before. Maybe he actually knows what he’s talking about…

      • bougin89 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        I agree that Kobe is tough…nobody questions that…but to compare a pinkie to a torn labrum is idiotic.

      • mazblast - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        It’s amazing how many “possible season-ending” “injuries” KoMe has played through. There’s a widespread feeling that he takes minor stuff and blows it up, trying to prove how “tough” he is. I used to not believe he was embellishing every little ouchie, but I believe the doubters now.

        I’m on Dwight’s side in this. The guy takes a pounding, some of it due to the position he plays, some due to how he plays. I have no doubt that he rushed back from his back surgery, that he’s doing his best to play with an injured shoulder. And here comes KoMe, who whines for a foul call if anyone breathes within 10 feet of him, whining that Dwight should play through obviously significant injuries.

        KoMe should be glad that I’m not Dwight. I’d corner his arrogant a** in the locker room and teach him the meaning of real pain.

  2. sportsnut101 - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    i wish they could trade kobe honestly yes hes having great season but hes hurting team by being ahole dont worry bout sumone else injury hes in a contract yr kobe u already have ur money so easy for u to say to bad kobe doesnt answer me back on twitter hes a douche

    as for dwight go sign for min next yr in brooklyn that would be real funny lol if the nets didnt sign wallace to that dumb ass deal 4y 40 mill when no1 was willing to go near that they outbid themselves how bout trade deron williams to lakers for dwight n nash n clark i bet the nets would reach the eastern finals against heat joe johnson with nash again plus clark plus dwight for pick roll i like that better deron n joe are just passing n passing again i understand team ball but man there worse then the spurs

  3. tsi431 - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Howard isn’t going anywhere. He will resign. The Lakers have only $9 million committed to players after next season (Nash). Everyone else will be off the books. Payroll tax penalty won’t kill them for one season.

    A healthy Howard and Nash is a great way to reload.

    • cosanostra71 - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      Nash will be over 40. You make a good point as far as cap space, but I wouldn’t necessarily say playing with a 40 year old Nash is a selling point. I do think that Dwight will end up resigning though.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Kobe gets 29 mil

      • cosanostra71 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        No, his contract only runs through the 2013-2014 season.

  4. calebvasquez27 - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    As Ken Joeng would say. That’s right Dwight!

  5. fanz928 - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Here’s the results shaq left , Andrew never got healthy, and what you think will happen to Dwight if he played through pain like gasol? Out for couple of weeks?

  6. progress2011 - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    LOCKER-ROOM CANCER !!!

    Who has the right to challenge a persons injuries. Too many players play thru injuries and jeopardize their careers trying to please an owner, coach or in this case felon.

    Ex: Derrick Rose received advice to not play but continued. After such a devastating injury, he may never be as explosive as he once was.

    1. This is why D12 did everything in his power to not end up in l.a.
    2. This is why CP3 begged Stern to not send him to l.a.
    3. This is why Phil said wanna be like MJ was ” UNCOACHABLE”
    4. This is why Shaq and others were gonna snap the weasel lookin dude in half, after snitching on the rest of the team, after he got charged with a felony.

    VOLUME SHOOTER/ FAKE MJ…..gotta take 30 shots to get 20 points……..TOTALLY OVER-RATED!

    • moserftbl88 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      Hey guy I couldn’t tell, do you absolutely hate kobe and love Jordans nuts? I’m just checking because it didn’t show at all in your idiotic rant so I’m just checking

      • progress2011 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        moserft….whatever (did you forget how to type or just hit random characters).

        Something I remind all FAKER fans of……Stating FACTS is not hating !

        To further answer your question, I TOTALLY HATE any dude who is a SNITCH or takes advantage of a woman, against her will !

        SO, based on the fact that FAKE MJ is a SNITCH and takes advantage of women…..AFFIRMATIVE….I Hate a person with those characteristics….lack thereof !!!

    • acewest - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      You don’t know what you’re talking about hahaha. All you are is a Kobe hater. I cant believe you posted this bs comment smh

    • ihavenonickname - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Almost NOTHING in your comment is accurate.

      1. Kobe plays thru injuries because he is competitive, that’s what he is asking of DH
      2. Rose got injured on a freak play, its irrelevant.
      3. From what is known of the situation, Dwight eventually agreed to LA.
      4. CP3 did not beg stern to do anything.
      5. Phil obviously worked things out with kobe, they went on to win two rings after the uncoachable comment.
      6. Kobe was not charged. He is not a felon.
      7. Kobe shoots 45% for his career. That’s why he averages over 25 pts on less than 20 shots a game for his career.

      C’mon, man.

      • dmcannon99 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        progress obviously has a bit of a fixation on Kobe, so he just makes things up in an attempt to vilify him. Whenever you need to resort to lying in order to make your point it’s pretty obvious your arguments are weak.

        I also like how he attacked somebody else for their typing when that person had fewer typos in his post than he did. Rational?

    • cosanostra71 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      Did Kobe do something to you personally? Geez, chill the eff out man.

      • progress2011 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        Read Previous comments…if you can. Chill out !

        This guys blatant disregard for others has to be called-out ! He has been a LOCKER ROOM CANCER….his entire career.

        His bad character probably ruined a young womans life !

        CHILL OUT !!!

        I’m not the one that needs to Chill ! Because he did not pay for his behavior …it has gone unchecked !

        Which is why he continues to exhibit bad behavior publicly !

        I’m not the one that needs to CHILL OUT !

      • cosanostra71 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        Your reply makes it pretty clear that reality is not a realm you live in.

      • loungefly74 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        progess…then you must hate about 75% of the NBA players…because i’m sure adultery is rampant.

        look…did you know that chick? i didn’t. but i heard she was crazy, man. i heard she had jizz from like 2 other dudes in dem panties! dang, man. the chick was craaaaazy. yeah, kobe f’ed up. f’ed up big time. but thats between his wife and him.

        if being a locker room cancer caused 7 WCF titles…long live cancer.

        LOL, yo progress….i know i’m a madman…but sometimes you make me look like MLK or Gandhi. Get’em!

      • progress2011 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        Lounge…

        I understand you are pushing buttons ….ahahaha

        But I’m sure we can both agree….adultery is very different from rape !

        Any dude that has to stoop to that level is not a man and represents the lowest scum of the earth ! Right alongside those that take advantage of children !

        Any man that has a daughter, I’m sure ….understands that if ANY dude were to offend our daughters……WELL….you get the point !!!!

    • badintent - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      There’s playing with pain and then there’s getting a pain killer injection in your wrist before everygame (like Kobe last year ). Real men don’t rub DSMO unless they are ready to bang in the NFL trenches.Last time I loked Kobe had a high school degree only , not a PHD.Well, maybe he does in dissing head coaches………………………………………..
      Kobe buy Howard a nice ring , kiss and make up
      Worked for Vanessa

  7. vilelabyrinth - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Kobe is being an ass, Dwight isn’t gonna wanna stay now..old players, the star of the team being a jerk, publicly.

  8. ksolomonjr - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    How can you hate on Kobe? His methods get results. He plays thru injuries all the time. If your an NBA player and you don’t want to play in LA then that’s your opinion. Lakers go and get championships. If CP3 wants to play with the Clippers let him…they will not be good in a few years. You can’t depend on Griffin as your go to guy. Lakers win rings!!! State that in your comments!!

  9. southbeachtalent - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    As the Lakers turn….

  10. jcrileyesq - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Even though DH is a flip flooper he has been out there playing hurt all season… would the lakers be better off with bynum not playing at all or DH playing through injuries

  11. bigdawg24 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Should have resigned with Orlando Magic. He was a hero there until things went south.

  12. lemfaxx - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Sad sad story…
    DH is right he needs to take care if his body that his only assets
    KB is right coz he needs one more shot to the finals
    Problem: kobe is running out of gas to wait another season to get his last ring
    Conclusion: he can stay on his shooting habit if the chances to final 8 is unreachable, anywz he has another goal though. Or keep on being a Good QB and enjoy the rest of the season. Anwyz he still the black mamba afterall

  13. phillyphan93 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Howard could be the worst teammate in any sport right now. He’s making T.O. look like a good dude.

  14. teambringitstrong - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    lmoneyfresh – Feb 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Couldn’t have had anything to do with Phil right? Shocking how many rings Kobe has without him.
    —————————————————————————————-
    Couldn’t wait for the 1st moron to use that statement. See, in your attempt to clown someone, you failed. The Lakers have 16 NBA championships. 5 of them were won without PJ. Great franchises aren’t tied to one player or coach.
    I hate ignorant people.

    • lmoneyfresh - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      Really? When did I mention the lakers organization? I said KOBE. How many has KOBE won without Phil. Read slower next time.

    • redsghost - Feb 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      The Los Angeles Lakers have 11 championships, the Minniapolis Lakers have 5, and the Detriot Gems (Lakers) have none. I don’t see the LA Dodgers trying to annex the Brooklyn Dodgers championships, and I don’t see Altanta trying to annex the Boston Braves records, and I don’t see NY trying to claim the San Francisco Giants world series, so why must the Laker fandom feel as if they should? To “try” and look as good as the Celtics (btw, they won all of their’s in one city).

      • cosanostra71 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

        That’s odd, last time I went to Dodgers Stadium, they were flying the pennants from the 1955 World Series, won by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

      • redsghost - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:31 AM

        So, you’re saying the Los Angeles Dodgers are annexing other cities titles as well as the LA Lakers?
        Thanx for proving my point. You know the difference between LA and Boston fans is? Ask a Boston fan my many trophies we’ve won. He’ll say 17.
        Ask a Los Angeles Lakers fan and say ” How many titles have the LOS ANGELES Lakres won and they stutter…”you mean the Lakers? or LA Lakers?”
        Beatdown!

      • redsghost - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:36 AM

        Oh, go ahead and keep switching handles and vote, one Laker ( Los Angeles or Minniapolis I’m not sure, perhaps the Detroit Gems? Oh, and yet the Detriot Pistons don’t try and swipe the Detroit Gems records, LOL, like who would?) fan dies alone. Sad.

      • redsghost - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:46 AM

        Sad the Los Angeles Dodgers would swipe Brooklyn’s records from the 50’s (57 YEARS ago!)… I’m so glad I don’t live with the LA sense of self worth or defeatisim…ONE City- Celtics (Boston), Patriots (NE or Boston), Red Sox (Boston) and Bruins ( Boston).
        God’s Sports City. (No need to swipe other trophies)

  15. soopreme - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Again, Kobe needs to SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. fanz928 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Trade gasol to Houston gets gasol lakers gets zack r. From Memphis , Memphis gets parsons, patrick p. Morris and picks from lakers, and picks from rockets

    • lmoneyfresh - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      I’m sure houston would love to trade for an injured player…

  17. thomaskouns - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Kobe could have won more titles if he had true leadership skills.

    He also won his titles (especially the last two with the most dominant & talented roster in the league all of whom were in their prime – Gasol, Odom, Artest, Bynum).

    Jordan ranked #1 All-Time in player effiency metrics and Kobe is 14th and will be a lot lower if he retires at the same age as Jordan – 35 ( not including Jordan’s Bullets experience when he was 39.)

    Kobe’s accomplishments get magnified by the media, Nike and NBA marketing machine but scouts around the league ‘off the record’ consider him one of the most overrated player of the last twenty years even with the 5 titles. But people often buy into the hype and mythology without looking more closely at how much he truly elevated and impacted the teams he was on.

    • cosanostra71 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Wow, only the 14th best efficiency ranking of all time. What a scrub.

      • loungefly74 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        LOL! hilarious.

      • dmcannon99 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        It must be tiring trying to find ways to diss Kobe. Seems there are a few people on these boards that live to try to find ways to put Kobe down and often do so in ways that make them look pretty ignorant. I’m sure it keeps Kobe up at night.

  18. nathanbetz91 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Suck it up was what Kobe told that chick in Colorado to do After he got done raping her

  19. tampajoey - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Dwight Howard is a diva drama queen. Kobe should slap that stupid smile off Dwight’s face.

  20. nvandy42 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Howard for Love, straight up

  21. ebrownwareagle - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    @progress
    You really must have a miserable life. Hating on a Champion because you ain’t them.. The Ole American Way! Nickname Fake MJ. I probably rather be a Fake MJ with 5NBA Titles and 7Western Conference Championships than, progress2011! And for the people who keep saying The Lakers had the Best team because of (Odoms,MWP,Gasol)! I pity you guys Deeply… Odoms, a lost head case who is now the 8th man off the bench, Gasol a 6th man, and MWP enuff said! Lol y’all have got to be kidding me Kobe is and was the only SuperStar on the team… Gasol/Bynum were All-Stars(barely) and the rest of those dudes were professional only due to the fact that they are in the league… Three tiers of players in sports…. Super Stars(Kobe,Bron,KD,etc..). All-Stars(Gasol,Love,etc..) and the rest are just Professionals b/c of the mere fact that they are in the league.

  22. drex1 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    and this is why, laker posts get so many comments. 1. laker fans post more comments each than kobe takes shots. 2. people like lakerlurver got like 7 accounts. 3 people love to argue bout kobe. 4. the posts about other teams, example, the mavs are growing beards….. Wow

    • tampajoey - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      5. tampajoey is just a Howard hater

  23. bucs24 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Trade Kobe he’s the cancer just shut up award goes to Kobe

  24. patfic15 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Dwight has baby ears. He ain’t listening to any of this.

  25. redsghost - Feb 7, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    and DW thinking of “himself” is why he hasn’t and probably won’t win any trophys.

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