They don't split frozen yogurt at the mall, wear matching fedoras or stay up late talking about the latest episode of Scandal. They don't talk, period.
"No," he replied, per the Los Angeles Times' Melissa Rohlin.
Anyone who had hopes of Kobe and Howard remaining close or even cordial, your illusions have just been shattered.
This isn't a "Howard hates the Lakers" thing; it's a "Howard and Kobe can't stand each other" thing.
Per ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne, Howard has kept in touch with a few of his former Lakers teammates, but he hasn't spoken with Kobe since the summer:
Dwight says he still talks to Jodie, Sacre, Jordan Hill. But no, he hasn't spoken to Kobe since the summer.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 5, 2013
I find myself wondering if the last words Kobe spoke to Howard consisted of "I'll teach you how to win" or something similar. What a way to end a marriage.
But it's not like we didn't see this coming. Kobe unfollowed Howard on Twitter after he made his decision to leave Los Angeles, and rumors of their division surfaced well before the 2012-13 campaign even ended.
Maybe if Howard had re-signed with the Lakers, things would have been different. The two would have been given more time to understand one another, to appreciate one another. Kobe could've taught Howard how to win for real.
Howard doesn't want to hear such nonsense, having made it clear that his time with the Lakers and Kobe is "over":
Dwight Howard: "It’s over with. I’m already out of there. There's no reason to talk about what the Lakers could’ve done."— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 5, 2013
For those who weren't satisfied with his decision, tough. This is Howard's life, and like he always has, he is going to do what he wants:
Dwight Howard: "I made my decision. I’m happy where I’m at. Everybody should move forward.This is my life, if you don’t like it, so what?"— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 5, 2013
Too bad it's going to take a miracle on more than just 34th Street for Kobe to suit up against the Rockets. I would fork over some serious coin to see him go at Howard on offense.
I'd pay even more to see how they greet each other prior to opening tip. Would they exchange pleasantries? Embrace one another, perhaps? Would they even acknowledge the other's existence? Or would Kobe himself take the more hostile route, giving Howard the death stare business whilst he cowered in fear?
"I'm happy," Howard said of the difference between playing in Houston and Los Angeles, via Rohlin.
Playing away from Kobe has that effect on him. And upon Kobe's return, the feeling is bound to be mutual.