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Kobe Bryant on Dwight Howard leaving Lakers: ‘Honestly, man, I don’t really give a s—‘

Sep 28, 2013, 6:30 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

The Lakers held their annual media day to open training camp on Saturday, and before the team could move forward to the business of the upcoming season, a question forced Kobe Bryant to take one final look at the one that just passed.

Asked about his surprise level when Dwight Howard chose to leave L.A. for Houston in free agency, Bryant was clearly ready to move on.

“Honestly, man, I don’t really give a s—,” he told reporters. “If he would have come back, it would have been great. If he didn’t … It is what it is.”

That sums up pretty succinctly how most Lakers fans feel about Howard’s departure, as well.

Despite losing out on one of the most talented free agents on the market, along with questions of health and how all the new pieces will fit together, Bryant isn’t ready to back away from his annual goal of winning a title just yet.

“Our expectations are always the same going into every single season: It’s to improve every day with the goal in mind of winning a championship,” Bryant said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles. “It doesn’t matter what anybody else is saying, that’s the goal that we have.”

As for what the others are saying — namely, those that are predicting the Lakers will finish the year without making the playoffs — Bryant would like to remind you about how the predictions for his team turned out last season.

“Those people have been wrong before,” Bryant said, in an interview with Time Warner Cable. “They picked us to win a championship last year, and they were dead-ass wrong about that.”

  1. clownsfan - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Love it! Hope every Kobe interview sounds like that for the rest of the season

    • ieatpussy12 - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      Kobe the greatest ever #5xchamp

  2. spthegr8 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    LMAO!!!!! Pretty much. Water under the bridge now!!

  3. antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    He was rejected and it bothered him. But that’s only natural. I’m sure he’s almost entirely over it by now.

    • spthegr8 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      @anti
      You really should put your hate for Kobe aside and just enjoy one of the ALL TIME greats while you still can. To each their own but DAAAAAMMMNNNN homie… GIVE IT A REST!!! Just Sayin’!!!!!

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        I love Kobe. He’s one of my top 20 players of all time.

        But he was in fact rejected and it did indeed bother him. Why do you have a problem with that?

      • Anoesis - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        That word, rejection, doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means. The difference here is that Bryant discovered first-hand that Howard doesn’t have the mind set that Bryant knows is necessary to win titles. Howard’s inability to put his own ego aside for a year or two and buy into Bryant’s team is Howard’s loss. Howard has never won anything, but he was under the idiotic illusion that everything on the Lakers should be run the way he wanted it run.

        Being “rejected” by someone who decided that the bright lights and big pressure of L.A. wasn’t palatable is, in this case, a blessing. Bryant’s attitude towards “reporters” who want to keep rehashing that failed experiment is spot on and is indeed very indicative of how most Laker fans feel about it.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        “That word, rejection, doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means.”

        No it means exactly what you think it means. Kobe really wanted Dwight to stay but Dwight did not want anything to do with Kobe. It’s just like getting dumped.

      • scottheis82 - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:06 PM

        @ anti,
        “It’s just like getting dumped”
        Something I’m sure you have plenty of experience in. To me it’s more like he got who he wanted and then realized that they were not who he thought they were. If you are gonna use relationship analogies at least use them with the full context of what took place, I’m assuming Mike D himself or one of your “anonymous sources” told you about him smiling in London, to go from that to public disdain by the latter part of the season should tell you all you need to know about why they “broke up”.

      • Anoesis - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        Your assumption that you have any clue as to what went down behind the scenes between Bryant and Howard is laughable to the point of stupidity. Anyone’s opinion, including mine, is mere speculation, but some scenarios are much more probable than others. Yours isn’t even within sniffing distance of possible.

      • therealhtj - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        All these “Lakers” fans (aka Kobe pole riders) around this time next year will be wishing the pulled the amnesty trigger and kept Dwight. Objective Lakers fans already do.

    • spthegr8 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      @anti
      How do you know it “bothered him”?? & what makes you think that, your opinion bother’s me??

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        Kobe wanted Dwight badly. Kobe pleaded for Dwight to stay. But Kobe was the reason Dwight left. The first thing Kobe did was childishly unfriend Dwight on twitter.

        Kobe is very competitive and almost every slight bothers him. Doesn’t even matter how small. He is immature like that.

    • 5xchamp24 - Sep 29, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Kobe probably had great hopes of that 6th ring when Howard got there, but soon found out that he was “raw” with no skills just like Olajuwon said. They could have still won it if Howard wouldve just taken a back seat to Kobe for 2 years. By then Kobes skills would have diminished (only a little though) and then it would have been Howards team..

      • antistratfordian - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        And what do you think Howard thought of Bryant after he got there? He soon found out that everything negative said about him as a teammate was true.

        The Lakers could’ve won a lot more games last year if 1) D’Antoni wasn’t the coach and 2) less Kobe Bryant usage. But the Lakers are being run by two very stubborn guys who care little about creating a system to fit the team and prefer that the team try to fit their inappropriate systems.

  4. legend30 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Well said, Kobe. Here’s to hope that Kobe dunks on Dwight … again…

    • money2long - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      preview …

      http://ballislife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/TysonbeckDwightKobe.jpg

  5. spthegr8 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Weather you love him or hate him. Kobe is just keepin it 100!!

    • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      But… he’s not being honest, so how is that 100?

      • spthegr8 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        @anti
        & you know that cuz Dionne Warwick is your aunt and she tells you what Kobe is thinking?? Or your ANOTHER Troll with magical power’s???

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        Dwight leaving is one of the things that has irritated him the most, particularly because he wanted Dwight so badly in the first place (remember in 2011 him saying he needed his own “dream team” and joking about being traded to Miami in order to win) and also particularly because Kobe himself was the reason Dwight left.

        Remember how excited and giddy Kobe was when Dwight was signed? D’Antoni said he was walking around with a smile on his face in London. He was teasing Durant and Westbrook at the Olympics about their time in the West being over.

        Yeah, it definitely bothered him that he was rejected so publicly.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:07 PM

        don’t let anti “reign” on your parade, spthegr8. At least he has Kobe in his top 20 all-time.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        A lot of people wouldn’t even put Kobe in the top 20, so he should at least be grateful for that.

        In any case, “I don’t give a s—” is a defense mechanism and reveals insecurity. In this case it literally means “I give a s—” and Kobe even says so himself in his very next sentence: If he would have come back, it would have been great.

        (Sigh. What could have been. Oh well. Time to get back to pretending like it doesn’t bother me.)

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:24 PM

        I don’t have him in my top 20. Longevity is the only really elite thing about him.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:31 PM

        True. He’s had a PER over 20.0 for 14 straight seasons, which is fantastic. That’s rare.

        I could only find 16 players that I feel are better than him. I don’t blindly hate Kobe.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        of course he has a high PER. He shoots all the time. Most of his points come from FTs. At best he’s a mediocre scorer from the field.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        I didn’t say he has a “high” PER. It’s just over 20.0, which isn’t really that high, but it’s still difficult to sustain over 14 straight years. Less than 10 players have ever done that.

        But he hasn’t had a “high” PER since 2006.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        I’d say 33% higher than average would be classified as high. Shooting a lot, regardless of whether it goes in all that often, raises your PER. Even if a guy has a PER of 8.00 and takes the same number of shots as Kobe, his PER is still inflated.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 29, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        Where did you get this nonsense? Dave Berri? He was wrong about that.

        One of the reason Kobe’s PER is never very high is because he shoots so much and it doesn’t go in.

      • thomaskouns - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:15 PM

        You’re right! If you listen to his interviews and follow the Lakers closely he ‘s one of the most disingenuous players in the league but the media, fans and league don’t call him on it because it feeds into his brand which is good for him, the league and selling newspapers.

      • scottheis82 - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        He gave a clear and concise answer, with today’s media that’s what you have to do otherwise they will keep asking until they feel like they got the answer that generates all our comments.

    • theromeo2k - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Yup, unlike D rose …………………………………………….

  6. kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Kobe speaks the truth! My sentiments exactly, I don’t give a bleep about him leaving. The LAKERS will be back in their rightful place as King of the NBA in due time. Maybe not this season. Maybe not next. But it will happen. It always does.

    • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      Or maybe in 80 years.

      • kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        Well, considering the fact that the LAKERS have averaged a title every 3-4 years for the past three decades, I doubt very seriously it will take that long. 80? It won’t even be 8!

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        Well that was hyperbole. But they’ve only won 5 in the last 25 seasons. 20 of the last 25 seasons were failures. And they’ve gone 17 years between titles before so it wouldn’t be unheard of if they went dry over the next 20. Nothing lasts forever.

      • kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:09 PM

        What other team has won that many in the last fifty years not named Chicago?!

  7. ThaLiveKing - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Reblogged this on TLK Sports and commented:
    I totally agree 100%

  8. boltsup - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Hell yeah well said Mamba… Kobe is on his Brad Pitt in Troy

  9. Gabriel James - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    I got this sense a number of teams will be in for taking out Houston.

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Teams are in for taking out the Heat, they were in for taking out the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, they were in for taking out the Jordan Bulls, what matters is can they do it?

  10. lakerade - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Kobe’s sentiments are in line with what Lakers fans were already feeling DURING last season: Howard always had one foot out the door, was just testing the waters, so the fan base never fully embraced him despite his physical gifts. Once he left that hesitation was justified, since who wants someone who doesn’t want to be here anyway?

    Excited for a season where every player looks at being a Laker as an opportunity and privilege, not a layover.

  11. drewdatwit84 - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    I agree with @anti. If it didn’t bother Kobe at all then he would given a much more mature response than “I don’t give a…”

    he also said that people thought they would win the championship last season… um, aside from flaker fans, who else in this world thought that?

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      Well, if they had perfect health (big IF, certainly not reasonable to expect), they had a good shot to get to the WCF.

    • kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      Maybe you haven’t followed his career but he has always been sorta surly. But that’s what most LAKERS fans love about him. Unlike many other star players, Kobe doesn’t care if the media or fans outside of L.A. like him or not. He is beloved in L.A. And in China he is fast and away the most popular player.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM

        “Kobe doesn’t care if the media or fans outside of L.A. like him or not.”

        That just isn’t entirely true. Everyone cares even if they say they don’t. He knows his unforgiving punch-my-own-mother-if-it-will-win-me-a-ring persona appeals to a large group of people because that was Jordan’s formula and it obviously worked very well for him.

        “And in China he is fast and away the most popular player.”

        This may not be true anymore either. At least according to Global Social Media Monitoring company Synthesio, LeBron James is the most popular social media celebrity in China – Kobe is 8th.

  12. 00maltliquor - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    I too co-sign with what Mamba said, 100%.

    But man these questions are getting old now media. Try asking something different you guys. D12 was only a Laker for one year. Nobody really misses him nor cares, let it go.

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:48 PM

      I’ll drink a malt liquor to that.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:26 PM

        Hell yeah! Although as I type, I’m on that red wine. Vino, coincedently.

  13. isujames - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Who do these laker fans and Kobe think they’re kidding?The whole Laker fanbase, Kobe as well as other famous laker fans heart was broken when Howard left.I hope Kobe has gotten over it by now which I have doubts about but I know their are more than enough laker fans that are still bitter.I called it, I said Howard would ditch LA at seasons end, no man/star wants to play with Kobe.

    • kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      No one except for Steve Nash, Pau and Shaq. And before you lie and say Shaq didn’t like playing with Kobe, check your facts. He never has been quoted saying that. Did they like each other? No. But Shaq NEVER wanted to leave L.A. Bird and McHale were never buddies. But they needed each other to win. Shaq knew he needed Kobe. And I don’t recall CP3 saying he didn’t want to go to the LAKERS before Stern killed that deal. He was ecstatic about playing with Kobe. Get your facts right, sir.

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      Nah, not really bro. You may want us to wallow in sorrow to satisfy your hatred for all things Purple and Gold (which is cool with me if that’s your gig) but in all reality it is not the truth. Nobody, or I should say the majorty doesn’t g.a.f. Real talk.

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:44 PM

      …although I will say this…I sure as hell miss him on my NBA2K13 Lakers squad!! Dwight was UN-STOP-ABLE in the post and on D was a savage!

      • spthegr8 - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        @malt
        Yeah, that’s the ONLY place I miss him @ is on 2k. My rebounding with the LAKESHOW is NUBBS with him gone!!

  14. grapenutz08 - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Didnt Kobe unfollow on Twitter right after???? He obviously cared

  15. footballer4ever - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    What’s wrong with reporters, do they get their panties wet over howard or are they a bunch of troublemakers asking provoking questions to get their kids college paid up? Seriously, it’s more TMz reporting than anything else. Howard is a joke!

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      Joke’s on you.

  16. raiderdan69 - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Why is everyone hating on kobe for this? Am I the only one who thinks all these rivalries getting spicier makes the games more fun? lakers/houston, celtics/brooklyn/knicks, durant and wade going at it, so many teams that look good or have potential – clippers, bulls, pacers. Actually cant wait for the season to start!!!

  17. Anoesis - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Anti and adams are defending a gutless liar. Howard never had any intention of signing a max contract with the Lakers. He approved the trade to get out of Orlando. He lied when he said he was ecstatic to be in L.A. and that he wanted to continue the tradition of dominant Laker centers.

    Howard used the Lakers’ ability to sign him to a max contract in order to increase offers from other teams. He knew he was never going to live up to the legacy of legends like Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, and O’Neal. Howard thought that Bryant should step aside and just give him the keys to the team. He thought he shouldn’t have to run pick and rolls because he has some illusion that he’s a great post player.

    Bryant’s reaction to the constant living-in-the-past of some “reporters” was perfect. He saw that Howard didn’t have, may never have, the kind of mind-set required to win championships. Bryant knows, as do many Lakers fans, that the best scenario is the one that happened: The Lakers risked very little on a Dwight Howard test-drive and have lost absolutely nothing in having found out that model should be recalled. Good riddance.

  18. fearthehoody - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Strange, Kobe had the same quote when asked how he felt being LAs JV team to the Clipps

    • kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:46 PM

      Well, the Clips have been the jv for like 35 years, so…….

      • con4dentual - Sep 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM

        Strangely not lying about it ucla first time I seen them to matter at in football, change occurs. USC irrelevant weird clippers before the lakers and I’m just so totally confused

  19. detroit20iron - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    @isujames please please break out the crystal ball again almighty basketball wizard of oz…

  20. onbucky96 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    God I love how the media kisses Kobe’s ass. Kobe is a Jordan wannabe. If MJ didn’t play baseball, those stupid Mike/Kobe comparrisons would never have happened. Go to hell Kobe, and take David Stern with you.

  21. urodaddy07 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    i don’t think Kobe really pays that much attention to people’s opinions, which my be his biggest fault

    • kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      Or his greatest strength.

    • program33 - Sep 29, 2013 at 2:59 AM

      His biggest fault is that he is not a better leader at this point of his career. Good leaders do more for the team than just shoot and provide immature statements to the media.

  22. lhollis74 - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Honestly, when we first got Dwight I was very excited. But as I saw his lack of heart and character close up, I realized that there was a lot more, mostly negative, to him than what I saw in the highlights while in Orlando. My buddy and I disagreed for years while he was in Orlando, called him a bum, I disagreed. I did wonder a little bit after what I saw him do to van gundy(just dirty), but didnt truly realize until I witnessed his antics on a day to day basis in Los Angeles.
    I truly equate this experience to desiring a very hot chick, getting her, then realizing after living with her that its just better that she leaves. Yours friends say you gotta be depressed to get dumped by a seemingly hot chick, but you know it wasn’t worth the headache.

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:06 AM

      Good analogy. Dwight Howard is the Kim Kardashian of the NBA world in those regards. lol

  23. ambitoos - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    The guy was never loyal to the Lakers. I’m going to watch Kobe magic until he’s gone.

  24. muhangis - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Kobe merely expressing the sentiments of all L.A. Laker fans, nobody misses Dwight Howard! He was a punk in Orlando, he was a bigger punk in L.A., and he’ll continue to be a punk in Houston.

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:52 AM

      No way, he was a way bigger punk in ORL.

  25. markarmenia - Sep 29, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Kobe Bryant sounds off on Dwight Howard’s decision to leave the Lakers after just one season in Los Angeles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1raLvbvMXJo THE VIDEO !!!!

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