Skip to main content

Kobe Bryant dissed Dwight Howard by calling him a "teddy bear"

Kobe Bryant double-downed on calling Dwight Howard soft, albeit in a very different manner.
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant and center Dwight Howard

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard

One of Kobe Bryant’s most famous conflicts was with big man Dwight Howard. The root of their tiff can be traced all the way back to when they became teammates in 2012. Howard was expected to be Bryant’s partner in crime, pretty much like Shaq. But when things didn’t turn out well, the two started hating each other. One of Bryant’s epic disses at Howard was when he called him a “teddy bear.”

Soft as a teddy bear

The highest point of the Bryant-Howard rivalry is their little scuffle in a game between the Lakers and the Houston Rockets. Right after snagging a defensive rebound, Howard swung his elbows around, trying to fend off Bryant. He inadvertently (or not) elbowed Bryant right in the jaw. The referee blew the whistle, but the two continued yapping. This is the origin of the famous Kobe Bryant “soft” meme.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

As always, the media wanted Bryant’s thoughts on the matter. Kobe said that such antics are part of the game. He thrived off those types of things. However, Byron Scott, the Lakers head coach during that time, contradicted Bryant’s thoughts, saying that the Mamba really does hate Howard’s guts. Kobe disagreed with Scott’s reading by praising Howard’s good-heartedness.

You can’t help but like him, he’s a teddy bear.I really mean that. He is a really nice kid. But you know me. When you’re competing and you have a goal in mind, I know one way to get there and there’s certain times you don’t see eye to eye. That wasn’t one of those situations. He elbowed me in the face, you know I am going to let him know I don’t like that. It’s that simple,” Bryant said, per CHRON.

We can take Kobe’s words as is. That he really thinks highly of Howard. But we can also look at it from another angle. A teddy bear is soft and can easily be blown into bits. It’s not something you bring to war.

Patching things up

It was indeed a heated rivalry. The best part of everything is that the two legends were able to patch things up before Bryant’s passing. Howard later admitted that Bryant had agreed to help him in the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest.

It would’ve been great if Bryant was still around when Howard won his first title with the Lakers. Yes, Dwights wasn’t the franchise player he used to be. But he was an intrinsic part of that historic run. Bryant may have been right that Howard is soft as a teddy bear for his chummy personality. But when needed, Howard has the capacity to strip off his teddy bear costume and reveal his true self: a savage animal who exists only to hunt and kill. 

John Salley compares Luka Doncic to Larry Bird

John Salley says he would fear Luka Doncic the same way he feared Larry Bird

It might be too early to draw parallels between Larry Bird and Luka Doncic. But according to John Salley, both possess the same fear factor on the court.

pat-beverl-lakers

Patrick Beverly disrespects the 2020 Lakers championship: "The Bubble Championship"

LeBron might think that was one of the hardest championships to win in NBA history, but Pat Bev is not having it!

Is it time for Chris Paul to retire?

Is it time for Chris Paul to retire?

This Playoff run exposed Chris Paul’s age more than ever. Gone are the days when he had all energy, pop, and even to an extent, durability to stay on the court.

Isiah Thomas criticism of Chris Paul still stands

Isiah Thomas’ past criticisms of Chris Paul still rings true: "He has to push past safe"

Isiah Thomas claimed Chris Paul was playing too safe to maintain his good stats. The Hall of Famer wanted CP3 to take some risks to win games.

matt-barnes-chris-paul-pat-beverly-min

Matt Barnes calls Patrick Beverly a clown for the Chris Paul slander: "You're not that guy"

Barnes went in on Pat Bev: "Chris Paul played terrible this series and his numbers are still better than your career numbers have ever been."

Patrick Beverley wouldn't mind joining LeBron James and the Lakers

Patrick Beverley on playing with the Los Angeles Lakers if he had the chance: “I wouldn’t even hesitate”

Patrick Beverley admitted that there's nothing like playing for the Lakers franchise

JJ Redick explains why Eric Gordon could've helped Phoenix Suns in the playoffs

JJ Redick explains why Eric Gordon could've helped Phoenix Suns in the playoffs

The Phoenix Suns fans wanted Eric Gordon but the front office panned their wishes.

LeBron James names three players he'd team up with in a 2v2 vs Jordan and Pippen

LeBron James names three players he'd team in a 2v2 vs Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen

History showcases LeBron knows how to adjust his role to accommodate his teammates.