Kobe on Dwight Howard
In Part II of our three part series with Kobe Bryant, he discusses the impending free agency of Dwight Howard, including why it's critical that Howard arrives at his decision on his own.
Below is a transcription of some of Bryant's key points:
Q: On L.A.'s roster for next season:
Bryant: I think it really depends on what Dwight decides to do.
Q: On why he wants Howard to stay with the Lakers:
Bryant: I think his talent level, his defensive prowess. We saw what he could do at the end of the year when we all started clicking … I think that makes him extremely, extremely valuable.
Q: On the importance of Howard arriving at his own decision on where to play:
Bryant: It has to be his decision. The last thing you want to do is convince a person that they want to be here. If you have to convince them when challenges or adversity comes up next season, it's very easy to say, 'Well they had to convince me to be here anyway, I really didn't want to be here, I'd rather be (somewhere else) but they sold me on it.' You want it to be his decision. When it's something that's rooted inside of him, it's something he champions. I just want to be there to assist his decision.
Q: On what the Lakers mean to him:
Bryant: L.A. is home for me. It's the longest place I've ever stayed as a kid moving around. Being in one place for 17 years was completely foreign for me. But this is home. With the organization going forward you're going to expect the same old, same old. Figuring it out, figuring it out now. I hear the critics (of) the roster, everything is up in the air … it may seem that way now but the dust will settle. We'll have a team out there on the floor that's going to be a contender.