They were enough for Dwight Howard to give a glowing update of his relationship with Kobe Bryant.
“I’m happy that me and Kobe are getting on the same page. In order for us to win, me and him have to always be together on the same page,” he said after Lakers practice Monday. “We have to really lead this team. That’s the key right there.”
To think that five days earlier there were harsh words from Bryant to Howard at the Lakers’ clear-the-air meeting in Memphis.
“It’s always been a process. It wasn’t easy,” Howard said. “Two big dogs and we bump heads, but instead of us bumping heads we can both do things to lead this team. Offensively, he’s going to lead our team and defensively is my job.”
Howard even seemed to accept his second-star status two days after saying it was important to keep feeding the post players to prevent them from becoming “grumpy.”
“We all know Kobe’s the first option and whoever scores after that, it doesn’t matter. At the defensive end is where I take the lead and make sure other guys are accountable and make sure that I’m doing my job being active,” Howard said. “All of us have had to adjust. We talked about it. When most guys are stars, they’re stubborn sometimes. They want things to go their way and they want to take the shot and do this and that. But at the end of the day, we want to win. We have to take ourselves out of the picture and realize what we’re playing for.”
Later, Howard added, “We all want to add another banner up there and all have rings….”
The Lakers’ next four games are against teams with losing records, though three are on the road, where they are a horrid 5-15.
The Lakers (19-25) play host to New Orleans (15-29) on Tuesday before beginning their seven-game Grammy trip Wednesday at Phoenix (15-30). Then they play at Minnesota (17-24) and Detroit (17-27) before finally getting a team with a decent record (Brooklyn, 26-18).