Dwight Howard met with Kobe Bryant in a meeting on Tuesday, where Bryant challenged the free agent center to not do things his way, but just listen, learn, and make it so that it fits him.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, insisted he wouldn't retreat in pushing Howard every day, that as much as the Lakers needed Howard, Howard needed Bryant and the Lakers, too.
“You need to learn how it’s done first, and I can teach you here,” Bryant told Howard during the Laker’s presentation, according to Yahoo! Sports. “I know how to do it and I’ve learned from the best – players who have won multiple times over and over.”
CBS Sports’ Matt Moore said Bryant took a wrong approach to Howard, who can discover greatness in his own way like many other great players have.
“Bryant’s pitch should have been about how they could accomplish great things, but the takeaway from this little speech is that Bryant can allow Howard to have greatness. He can give it to him, like a bonus check while the CEO, Bryant, collects all the profits.”
“Not a great way to sell a guy who as his own firm ideas about what he wants for his career, for his life, for his way of success,” he writes.
Howard has retreated to Colorado for a few days, surrounded by representatives, to make a decision on his future. The Lakers are fighting frontrunner Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Golden State to sign him.
At times in the 2012-13 season, Bryant and Howard clashed over decidedly different day-to-day approaches to the game. Away from the floor, Howard's lighthearted tomfoolery clashed with Bryant's relentlessly serious-minded way. Bryant is rehabilitating a torn Achilles, but is expected to be back early in the Lakers season.