Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard reportedly confront issues in tense Lakers meeting

Thursday January 24th, 2013

Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant have appeared to be at odds during the Lakers' struggles. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant have appeared at odds during the Lakers' struggles. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant directly asked Dwight Howard if he disliked playing with him during an emotional Lakers team meeting Wednesday, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

"Guys went at each other a little bit," said a witness to the meeting prior to Wednesday morning's shoot-around.

Coach Mike D'Antoni began the meeting by telling the team he was tired of reading newspaper stories in which players questioned his offense. Bryant and Howard both were quoted criticizing the offense after the team's 95-83 loss Monday in Chicago. Howard said he was unhappy taking just five shots in the game.

When D'Antoni asked players to speak up, Steve Nash, who led D'Antoni's offense for four seasons in Phoenix, said he didn't care which offense the team used so long as everyone was comfortable.

Bryant then acknowledged that he could be "hard to play with" before asking Howard if that bothered him. A person who witnessed the meeting said Howard's answer was unclear, but that "He didn't go back at Kobe."

Later at the shoot-around, Howard told reporters he was sorry for complaining about his number of touches and took responsibility for his play.

"It starts with me," Howard said. "I have to be more of a player out there on the court and not worry about anything, not complain. Just do what I do best."
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, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.