Just when it appeared the Los Angeles Lakers had escaped their season-long drama — even if just for a few days — a report surfaced Tuesday that Dwight Howard mocked Kobe Bryant behind his back in the locker room during All-Star Weekend in Houston.
According to the New York Post, a source said Howard “grabbed Kobe’s uniform, put it on, and imitated him in front of all the other players on the West team,” including the Clippers’ Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and the Thunder’s Kevin Durant.
The report also claims that after arriving in the locker room, Bryant “said hello to everyone on the team except Howard, grabbed his stuff and moved as far away from Howard as he could,” according to the source.
While there may be validity to the report, it isn’t the first time Howard has jokingly mocked Bryant.
In January, after the New York Daily News reported that the two nearly came to blows following a New Year’s Day loss, and just after Bryant reportedly agreed with Shaquille O’Neal’s comments labeling Howard “soft,” Bryant and Howard both took to social media to make light of the situation.
“He’s not a doctor,” said Howard in a Los Angeles Times report.
Added Howard’s father in an interview with the Atlanta-Journal Constitution: “I understand what Kobe was trying to do, but he went about it the wrong way. He’s trying to win a championship. But Dwight has to tell Kobe, ‘I appreciate your opinion, but that doesn’t matter. We’re two men on this team. We need to be reasonable about this.'”
The drama continued going into All-Star break, when after a 125-101 loss against the Clippers, an angry Bryant said, “we lose by 20 or 30 points, we definitely can’t be laughing and joking around.”