Kobe Bryant: Dwight Howard Wants Me to Be Tough on Him

Kobe Bryant Tough on Dwight Howard

Looking back, Dwight Howard really seemed to enjoy a ton of  “happy time” in Orlando.  I mean other than last season when he pouted all year, you rarely saw Howard without a smile on his face during his time with the Magic.

 That’s why a lot of basketball fans questioned whether Dwight Howard would be able to play alongside Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.  Kobe may be good for an occasional one-liner after a game, but he’s never been considered much of a joker on the court, where he has a reputation for being tough on his teammates.  Could Dwight Howard deal with an all-business type leader like Kobe?

Kobe Bryant joined Colin Cowherd on ESPNRadio (via Sportsradiointerviews.com) , and discussed whether or not he is ever concerned about being too hard on Howard:

“It’s a balance. I talk to him quite a bit and it’s one of those things that’s kind of in my mind is ‘when am I pushing him too hard?’ To his credit, he said coming here, he said ‘listen I know you are going to be hard on me and I know you are going to push me and that is what I want. I want to have that to get to the next level.’ That’s what I’m going to do.”

That’s good news for Lakers fans.  If Dwight wasn’t willing to take criticism from Bryant, he wouldn’t last long with the Lakers. 

This past off-season, the hot barbershop hoops-head rumor was that Dwight Howard didn’t want to go to the Lakers in part because he didn’t want to leave Orlando for L.A. like Shaq did.  Although Howard rightfully wants to build his own legacy separate from Shaquille O’Neal, perhaps Kobe could remind Howard  about how O’Neal balanced being a class clown with being fearsome competitor once the ball tipped off.