The 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers' season didn't go as expected.
Steve Nash showed to be a shell of himself, Dwight Howard never lived up to the heightened expectations of Lakers fans and the chemistry between D12 and franchise icon Kobe Bryant was simply nonexistent.
Although Kobe and Dwight tried to downplay their inability to mesh, there were examples throughout the season that the two were on separate pages.
The mamba vs d12 !! It's on lol pic.twitter.com/cZQO5Avf— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 7, 2013
A source told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News in January of 2013 that the two stars got into a "heated exchange" and Bryant "was restrained from going after his teammate." According to the same report, Howard wasn't all too happy with Kobe either.
This wasn't the only reported example. Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher noted that Howard wanted Mike D'Antoni fired in order to consider re-signing in Los Angeles (among other things), and Kobe was obviously frustrated when Howard wasn't able to push through a shoulder injury sustained during the regular season.
Now, Antawn Jamison, who played with the Lakers last season, has confirmed the pairing was toxic to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com:
It was bad. ...
Whatever you say happened between the coaching staff, Kobe and Dwight – it was a combination of everything. Not understanding roles. Not being up front with roles. Our two superstars didn’t get along. ...
I think we all needed to do something different. When I say that, I could have spoke up and said, "Let’s figure this out." It was a combination of everything. Everything that could have went wrong went wrong.
Do the Lakers have better chemistry without Dwight Howard
It's not exactly breaking news that the two had an ability to successfully work with one another considering Dwight's one-year stopover in Lakerland ended with a departure to the Houston Rockets.
However, Jamison's confirmation serves as a stark reminder of how important team chemistry is in the NBA and how devastating it can be when a team is without it.