Kobe Bryant Is Not the Only Laker Who's Fed Up with Dwight

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IFebruary 22, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers leaves the court with four fouls in front of Pau Gasol #16 and Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

According to Fox News Ohio, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wouldn't oppose a trade of center Dwight Howard if the franchise chose to go that direction, and after a story surfacing about Howard mocking Bryant in the west locker room during All-Star weekend Bryant would probably welcome the change.

And apparently there are other prominent members on the Lakers roster who may feel the same way.

The simmering feud between Bryant and Howard has captured the attention of most people following the Lakers' soap opera of a season, but it's surprising that no one has thought to ask other members of the team how they feel about the situation.

It's probably even more surprising to Bryant's detractors that most of the Lakers that really matter feel the same way about Howard that Kobe does.

"Bryant is not alone in his concern, sources say. Nash, Pau Gasol and several others also seem fairly uneasy about Howard's commitment to the cause."

That passage from the Fox Sports Ohio article is the real eye-opener when it comes to this saga since it openly mentions other teammates who are less than pleased by Howard's un-interested approach to the game.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Howard might be the most jovial and carefree soul in the NBA, and while his smile may be infectious to some, it means nothing when one of the most successful franchises in NBA history is in danger of failing to reach the postseason.

It's easy to chalk Howard's lack of passion up as a byproduct of immaturity, but he is 27 and at some point you have to grow up.

And if Howard's game and demeanor can't mature around a group of veterans like Bryant, Gasol and Nash, will it ever?

The Lakers chose to pass on dealing Howard at the NBA's trading deadline as many expected, and Bryant's recent proclamation that the Lakers would definitely make the postseason should not be surprising considering the motivation that will be gained from the recent passing of owner Jerry Buss.

It's too bad that Buss never really had the opportunity to bond with Howard because it's a good bet that Buss would have introduced Howard to his true potential like he did for so many others who have donned the purple and gold.

The Lakers' emotional victory over the Boston Celtics in their first game after the All-Star break served as a reminder of how good this team can be when everyone is playing together in rhythm.

Howard's back and shoulder injuries didn't seem to be a huge issue against Boston in a dominant 24-point, 12-rebound performance, but how long will it be before those excuses emerge again?

Consistency has been Howard's main problem and it's likely the key point that is driving the wedge deeper and deeper between himself and Bryant. Kobe has seen what Howard is capable of when motivated and focused, but more importantly so has his teammates.

Due to Bryant's past conflicts with Shaquille O'Neal most people would assume that any friction with Howard originates with Bryant, but that's just because no one has been thoughtful enough to ask other members of the roster their opinion.

Gasol has won two titles with Bryant and understands the drive and passion it takes to get there. Nash is driven by the fact that this is his last best chance to finally reach the NBA's promised land, so what exactly is driving Howard?

The careers of Bryant, Gasol and Nash are slowly winding down so inspiration is not hard to come by, considering the short window of time they are working with.

What Howard must understand is that his window for being a truly legendary player is equally short, because his future is dimmer if his time in Los Angeles ultimately proves to be a failure.

It's one thing to have Bryant questioning Howard's heart and desire but when players like Nash and Gasol chime in with similar opinions then it may be time for Howard to take a long look in the mirror.