Clearly Kobe Bryant learned a few motivational techniques from his years of playing under Phil Jackson. With news of Pau Gasol’s injury might keep him out for as long as 8 weeks, Kobe has come out to say that we don’t have time to wait for Dwight’s shoulder to heal.
“We don’t have time for (Howard’s shoulder) to heal, Dwight worries too much about what people think. I told him, ‘You can’t worry about that. It’s holding you back.’ He says, ‘OK, OK, OK,’ but it’s always hovering around him. He just wants people to like him. He doesn’t want to let anyone down, and that gets him away from what he should be doing.”
Kobe also said that Dwight doesn’t understand what it’s like to play for a franchise like the Lakers. One that has a legacy for winning. Anything short of a championship is failure.
“(Howard) has never been in a position where someone is driving him as hard as I am, as hard as this organization is,” Bryant told MacMullan. “It’s win a championship or everything is a complete failure. That’s just how (the Lakers) do it. And that’s foreign to him.
“When you think about it, there aren’t many organizations that look at it that way. There are only two that can really honestly say that’s what they live by — Los Angeles and Boston.”
Kobe said after shoot around to the Los Angeles Times that he was shocked about the tone of the ESPN piece.
“In this case, it’s not legitimate. I was shocked.”
Sounds as if Kobe is implying his comments may have been taken out of context. But the barn door is open and the animals are loose.
Dwight responded to Kobe’s comments by saying that those are opinions but he’s not a doctor.
“He’s not a doctor. I’m not a doctor. So that’s his opinion,” Howard said. “I mean, I want to play. But at the same time, this is my career, this is my future, this is my life. I can’t leave that up to anybody else because nobody else is going to take care of me.
“If people are [ticked] off that I don’t play, that I do play, whatever it may be, so what?This is my career. If I go down, then what? Everybody’s life is going to go on. I don’t want to have to have another summer where I’m rehabbing and, you know, trying to get healthy again. I want to come back and have another great year.”
The real question is what happens to the Lakers as a franchise beyond this season. Even if they make it to the playoffs, is it realistic to expect them to make it to the finals? Can Dwight handle the glare of the LA spotlight even after Kobe rides off into the sunset? The Lakers face off against the Boston Celtics tonight on TNT.