Kobe: Trash talking Dwight Howard took place 'in the heat of the moment'

1:04 | NBA
Kobe Bryant downplays beef with Dwight Howard
Thursday November 20th, 2014

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said that his trash talk with Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard last month was in the heat of the moment, and he did not mean any of the things he said about him, NBA.com's Fran Blinebury reports.

Bryant was asked about Howard after Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was heard calling Howard a name that questioned his manhood after they got into an argument Sunday night in Oklahoma City.

"No, I don't feel that way. I don't think Kevin does, either," Bryant said, according to NBA.com. "In moments of confrontation during a game, you'll say things in the heat of the moment."

Howard, who was Bryant's teammate during the 2012-13 season, did not play in Wednesday's 98-92 loss to the Lakers because of a sprained right knee. Bryant scored 29 points in the Lakers’ second straight victory.

• GOLLIVER: Five NBA outliers pulling off strange statistical feats

Bryant and Howard have a history of confrontations, including during the season opener on Oct. 28, when Howard hit Bryant in the chin with an elbow after going for a rebound. The two had to be separated by teammates and received technical fouls because of the incident.

Bryant continued talking to Howard after the play, calling him “soft” and other names.

“You get in an argument with somebody, you’ll say things out of frustration, out of anger that you really don’t mean. It’s a heat of the battle, heat of the moment,” Bryant said.  “You [media] guys have all been in arguments, guys that are married. Sometimes you say things that you want to take back, that you don’t really mean. But it’s in the heat of confrontation.”

• MANNIX: Kidd, Bucks defeat Nets in his return to Brooklyn

- Scooby Axson

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.