Dwight Howard Broke Down The Differences In Being Teammates With Kobe Bryant And LeBron James

Dwight Howard‘s first two stints with the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t have been more different. Back in 2012, Howard was one of the best basketball players on earth and got traded to Los Angeles to join forces with Kobe Bryant. That didn’t go especially well, and after one year, the big man hit unrestricted free agency, which saw him leave town and become a Houston Rocket.

Fast forward to 2019 and Howard returned to the Lakers on a veteran’s minimum contract after bouncing around the league with four different teams in the previous four seasons. He largely came off the bench for a squad led by LeBron James, thrived in that role, and won an NBA championship for the first (and, to this point, only) time in his career.

Howard’s career hasn’t quite reached those heights since then, as he’s had stints with the Philadelphia 76ers and a third season with the Lakers before heading over to Taiwan last year. But the perspective that he’s gained throughout his career has been rather unique, and recently, Howard appeared on the “My Expert Opinion” to give an answer to a simple but interesting question about his time as a Laker: What was different about being teammates with Bryant and James?

Howard started by pointing out that he was “at two different stages of my life and career with both players,” nothing that he was young, in the prime of his career, and had never played alongside another superstar of Bryant’s caliber when they teamed up in 2012.

“As I got older, I started to realize more of how he felt,” Howard said. “And as a young ballplayer, you’re not seeing that. You think the game lasts forever. When you get older, you see I ain’t got the same amount of time and energy to put into this, that, and the third. It seemed like we fell out, but it wasn’t really like we fell out, we just had some disagreements on the court, like any other team and any other teammate.”

From there, Howard started talking about James, and had high praise for his personality.

“LeBron almost act like someone from the south side of Georgia,” Howard said. “We act kinda like twins — joking, silly, have a good time. We get on the court, we still gonna have a good time but we’re gonna dominate. Kobe ain’t bullsh*tting with nobody, he might not come in the locker room and talk, and everybody like, ‘So, he just gonna walk all the way past us, not dap nobody up, give a head nod or nothing? He’s just walked past us.’”

In retrospect, Howard now thinks this was Bryant’s way to get the team ready for practice when he entered the locker room. “He was just a little different in his approach,” he said. “But that’s Kobe, that’s what made him who he is.”