Despite the differences in attitude, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard had a lot of respect for each other. During Bryant’s passing, Howard took his time to reflect on the legacy that the Black Mamba left.
On the “All The Smoke” podcast, Dwight Howard shared his initial reactions to Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. He said:
“I wake up and I look it said Kobe died. I’m like, get the f**k out of here.
“So, I wake up AD LeBron. I start waking them up like, ‘Yo, bro. Kobe died'”.
“I go to the bathroom and I just start crying for like 20 minutes. I can’t believe it. And I started thinking about his daughters. They will have no father there.”
Dwight Howard was the best center in the NBA in his prime. In his early days in the league, he single-handedly carried the Orlando Magic to six straight playoff appearances, including the 2009 playoffs where they reached the Finals. As an old-school big man, the eight-time All-Star obliterated the paint and posterized almost everyone who tried to stop him.
In the 2012-13 season, Howard joined the LA Lakers and formed a superteam. People were expecting this roster to rival against the Miami Heat. That didn’t happen for a number of reasons. Firstly, the health of most players on that Lakers team was on the decline.
Secondly, chemistry issues between Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant caused the team to lose its composure. Finally, the attitude of most players didn’t fit with the “Mamba Mentality”.
After all that had happened, Howard returned to the Lakers in 2020. Now a role player, the eight-time All-NBA joined a team that was led by LeBron James. They capped their season off by winning the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Which teams could sign Dwight Howard this season?
The 2022-23 NBA season is about to start in a few weeks, but Dwight Howard is still a free agent. As a rim-running big man who can defend, teams should consider Howard as an option. There are a ton of teams that could possibly use his services. Let’s take a look at some of them:
The Phoenix Suns still have their core intact. However, they recently lost backup center JaVale McGee to rivals — the Dallas Mavericks. Adding Dwight Howard would boost the bench’s defense. His tenacity will help the team whenever Deandre Ayton is on the bench.
Being one of the most stacked teams in the NBA, the LA Clippers could still use one more center. Ivica Zubac is the only center that they have and it’s clear that they prefer playing small ball at times. However, having the three-time Defensive Player of the Year could be their key to winning the title.
It can be argued that the Lakers have one of the worst rosters in the league right now. They have an abundance of guards that would be fighting for the starting spot. Howard’s addition could prove to be valuable, especially on defense.