While teams line up in an effort to appease Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant reportedly took another approach.
Bryant challenged Dwight Howard during the Lakers’ presentation to the sought-after free agent Tuesday, according to Yahoo! Sports.
"You need to learn how it’s done first, and I can teach you here," Kobe reportedly said during the nearly two-hour meeting. "I know how to do it, and I’ve learned from the best – players who have won multiple times over and over.
"Instead of trying to do things your way, just listen and learn and tweak it, so it fits you."
Howard, who reportedly will announce his decision Friday, has met with five teams since becoming a free agent on July 1 – the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Lakers.
Howard is reportedly in Aspen, Colo., mulling over his options.
The Lakers can offer him $30 million more than any other team, but Howard had an up-and-down first season in Los Angeles in 2012-13. He averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds while playing through shoulder and back issues. He also didn’t seem to flourish in Mike D’Antoni’s perimeter-oriented offense, a point of contention that might sway Howard’s ultimate decision.
”At the meeting, we told him how important he is to the Lakers team, franchise, fans and community, and why we feel this is the best place for him to continue his career,” Kupchak said in a statement released by the team. ”We are hopeful that Dwight decides to remain a Laker.”
The Lakers can offer a maximum of $118 million over five seasons, and other teams can offer $88 million over four years.