It seems the drama surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers is not going anywhere anytime soon. Most recently, Dwight Howard reportedly did his best Kobe Bryant impression in the Western Conference locker room at the 2013 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, according to the New York Post:
We’re told that Howard “grabbed Kobe’s uniform, put it on, and imitated him in front of all the other players on the West team. He was joking and berating Kobe” to fellow NBA stars, including the Clippers’ Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant. The source added Bryant later arrived in the locker room, “said hello to everyone on the team except Howard, grabbed his stuff and moved as far away from Howard as he could.”
This is just the latest in a long line of examples of the two superstars not getting along during a disastrous season for the Lakers.
Most notably, Bryant questioned the center's willingness to play through an injury in an important game at the beginning of February. Howard then fired back, saying that his teammate did not know what he was talking about because he is "not a doctor" (via Dave McMenamin of ESPN).
Of course, the two have continued to deny any sort of rumors that there is a feud between them. Bryant went as far as tweeting out a picture of the two of them pretending to fight:
The mamba vs d12 !! It's on lol twitter.com/kobebryant/sta…— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 7, 2013
Still, the evidence seems to pile up that these two All-Stars cannot coexist in L.A.
Things are certainly not going according to plan on the court. Los Angeles exits the All-Star break with a 25-29 record and sits in 10th place in the Western Conference. With these two players, along with Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and others, there is little reason for this team not to reach the postseason.
General manager Mitch Kupchak has repeatedly said that he will not trade Howard this season. He has said it publicly to other teams, and he told the big man personally that he will remain with the squad through the end of the year, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.
Unfortunately, if things get any worse, he might not have a choice.