Last night Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard got embroiled in a little tiff after Dwight collected a defensive rebound and appeared to knock Kobe with an elbow. After the game, Kobe said of the scrap with Howard, “I think it’s fun,” before he lamented the sensitivity of the contemporary NBA; there are a lot of head’s nodding in unison with Bryant on that last one.
Here’s the incident in question, which we wrote about last night.
And here’s Kobe sounding off after the game on the Dwight fracas, by way of LA Times beat writer, Mike Bresnahan:
Kobe on scuffle with DH: "I think it's fantastic. Trash-talking is part of the game. I don't know where the NBA became so sensitive."
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) October 29, 2014
Bryant also said after the game he doesn’t dislike Howard even after they failed to advance past the first round when they played together in 2013 (Kobe was out at that point with an Achilles’ tendon tear):
“He’s [Dwight] a teddy bear,” Bryant said. “You can’t help but like him. I really mean that. He’s a really nice kid. But when you’re competing and you have a goal in mind . . . certain times we don’t see eye to eye.”
Sure thing Kobe. If you don’t think Mamba deliberately used somewhat incendiary diction with “teddy bear” and “nice kid,” then you don’t know much about Mamba. Reading into the word choice, Bryant is calling him soft in a less direct way than he did last night.
There had been a lot of hype surrounding Dwight’s return to Staples Center last night. After all the back-and-forth in the media stemming from Henry Abbott’s Kobe Bryant exposé, it set the stage for the season opener. Unfortunately, the Lakers simply weren’t up to the challenge, and Dwight only played 20 minutes in the the Houston cakewalk.
Bryant, meanwhile, will probably be scowling, glowering and trash talking teammates and opponents all season long. ‘Tis the Mamba way.
Is the NBA too sensitive?
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