Dwight Howard has played a significant role in the fantastic season the Los Angeles Lakers have been having this year. He understands what he needs to do to help the team and has been a role model for the Lakers in terms of putting the team first — something he wasn't willing to do back in the day.
Mentally, Dwight just wasn't up for the challenge when he joined the Lakers back in the 2012-13 season, and Kobe made sure to let him know how he felt about it. We all remember Kobe calling him soft. And while initially there was bad blood between the two, last year Dwight went on record saying that Kobe was right. It took him a few years, but he finally embraced the fact that his attitude and mental toughness wasn't good enough for the mamba mentality.
Regrettably, they never got the chance to sit down and talk about it, and with Kobe passing away. Dwight wanted to let Kobe know how he felt about him.
And it's something that, you know, I just tell people, if you have any bitterness or anger, whatever, strife towards anybody, let it go. Let them know how you feel. Get those feelings out. Let them know because you never know what could happen. Life comes and goes just like that. For me, it's super sad because I really wanted to tell him how much I appreciate everything he's done, all the things he's said. Even at the time that we were on the same team, we didn't understand each other.
- Dwight Howard
To make things worse, Dwight had recently asked Kobe to do something for him in the Dunk Contest this year, and Kobe accepted.
He was going to do something for me in the dunk contest, which is kind of heartbreaking.
I know I'll be cheering for Dwight in the Dunk Contest, and probably won't be able to help myself imaging Kobe there with him, assisting the superman in another highflying highlight.