Kobe Bryant's message to Dwight Howard may have swayed Howard away from the Lakers. (Noah Graham/NBAE)
During the Los Angeles Lakers meeting with free-agent center Dwight Howard, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant had a poignant message for Howard about learning how to become a champion.The longest-tenured Lakers player may have rubbed Howard the wrong way with his presentation.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, Bryant's pitch to Howard "will be a complete turnoff" to Howard returning to Los Angeles.
"You need to learn how it's done first, and I can teach you here," Bryant reportedly told Howard during the Lakers presentation to the free agent.
Howard has since left Los Angeles to contemplate where he will be playing his 10th season in the NBA. Howard has met with the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and Lakers.
When Howard met with the Rockets earlier this week, he reportedly asked the Rockets if they could acquire Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith in a sign-and-trade deal. Former Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon said he believes there's an 85 percent chance Howard will land in Houston.
The Lakers are in position to offer Howard the most money. If he decides to re-sign with the Lakers, his max deal could be a five-year pact worth $118 million. If Howard signs elsewhere, he would receive a four-year, $87.6 million deal.
The Lakers released a statement about their meeting with Dwight Howard:
“Jim Buss, Mike D’Antoni, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Tim Harris and I, along with representatives from our partners at Time Warner Cable SportsNet and AEG, met this afternoon for approximately two hours with Dwight Howard and his representatives Dan Fegan and Happy Walters. At the meeting, we told him how important he is to the Lakers team, franchise, fans and community, and why we feel this is the best place for him to continue his career. We are hopeful that Dwight decides to remain a Laker.”