The Los Angeles Lakers are ready to move on without center Dwight Howard, none more so than Kobe Bryant.
Howard last week chose the Houston Rockets, a growing presence in the Western Conference and a threat to the Lakers. But Los Angeles wasted no time in moving on with the game plan for 2013-14, with Kobe leading the way.
As soon as Dwight made his announcement, Kobe unfollowed Dwight on Twitter and started focusing on the next season for the Lakers.
“Listen man, it’s just me, that’s just how I am,” Bryant said. “I have a hard time following people that want to beat us. Not to say that we’re not friends or I don’t respect him or anything like that.”
Kobe has been focusing on his own return to the court from a torn Achilles’ tendon that cut short his 2013 season just before the playoffs. He said his rehab is ahead of schedule and he expects to start doing more involved workouts in August.
Kobe had been enlisted by the Lakers to help make a pitch to Dwight in the hopes of keeping him, a job he found odd.
“I walked in there and everybody’s sitting down and everybody’s quiet. I don’t know what the hell is going on. Everybody is just really… serious,” Bryant said Wednesday. “It was really pretty funny to me.”
Steve Nash, who was also tapped to try to convince Howard to say, said the effort seemed futile.
“Ultimately, I think Dwight wasn’t comfortable here and didn’t want to be here and I think if he didn’t want to be here, there’s no point for anyone in him being here,” Nash told The Mason & Ireland Show on ESPN LA 710 radio on Tuesday. “So, we wish him the best and move on.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to bring back Lamar Odom, who could also return to the Clippers. Los Angeles is also trying to sign free-agent guard Jordan Farmar, who could return to his old team for $1.2 million but only if the Lakers can buy out his contract with Turkish pro team Anadolu Efes.