Kobe Bryant Thinks Dwight Howard Will Do 'Whatever Is Necessary' to Help Lakers

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard talks to reporters in El Segundo, Calif., Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The Lakes lost their first-round NBA basketball playoff series to the San Antonio Spurs. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Kobe Bryant believes Dwight Howard will be better prepared to chase a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers than he was during his first stint in purple and gold. 

"I think he's ready for this next time around to do whatever is necessary to help this team be successful, and I think he'll do it," Bryant said of his former teammate on The Talk (h/t LakeShowWorld).

When Howard forced his way out of Orlando and to L.A. in 2012, he was viewed as the best center in the league. The Lakers acquired Howard and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash that offseason to form a "Big Three" with Bryant.

However, Howard's time with the Lakers was plagued by injury and a feud with the Black Mamba.

Los Angeles went 45-37 in 2012-13 before getting swept out of the first round as Bryant was sidelined by a torn Achilles. Howard ultimately turned down the Lakers in free agency and moved on to Houston.

Now on his sixth organization since 2016, Howard has admitted he has hit "rock bottom." He made it clear that he is ready for a "fresh start" and that his "only dedication is to putting another banner up here in Los Angeles."

Unlike last time, Howard isn't going to be asked to be one of the leading producers on the team. Instead, the 33-year-old will be asked to be a complementary player in support of four-time NBA MVP LeBron James and six-time All-Star Anthony Davis.

The NBA has changed quite a bit since Howard's last stint in Hollywood, but Bryant believes the big man can succeed if he stays focused on the task at hand.

"Get better," Bryant said of his advice to Howard. "I think a lot of times as professionals you start the season without the intention of getting better as the season progresses. You always continue to work on your weaknesses as the season progresses."