Tension between former Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard came to a head last night (Oct. 28) at the Staples Center as Los Angeles took on Houston in the NBA season opener. With the Rockets leading by 25, a rebound by Howard led him elbowing Bryant in the face. The rest, was history.
Exchanging words that have reportedly included Bryant telling Howard “You soft” and “Try me,” he and Howard both ended up with double technical fouls as teammates and referees took to the hardwood to help diffuse the situation. According to Lakers coach Byron Scott, the reason for the whole ordeal is simple: “They just don’t like each other.”
The Rockets went on to blow out the Lakers with a 108-90 win. Following the game, Bryant and Howard kept things PC, chalking the scuffle up to the game of basketball.
“You can’t help but like him. He’s a teddy bear. He’s a really nice kid, and I really mean that,” Bryant said. “When you compete and you have a goal in mind, I know one way to get there. He elbowed me in the face and I’m going to let him know that I don’t like that. It’s that simple.”
“It’s stupid. We won the game. It’s over with,” Howard said. “I mean, there’s no need to go into it. We won the game. It’s about basketball. I mean it’s over with. It’s nothing. I’m not even focused on it.”
While, yes, this was all an unfortunate turn of events for the kickoff of the season, how long do we have to wait for the Internet to fuse Mamba’s “Try me” threats with that Dej Loaf song? Just saying.