Phil Jackson says Dwight Howard left Lakers because of Kobe Bryant

  • Jason Whitney

Phil Jackson said Dwight Howard left because of Kobe Bryant

This may not be ground-breaking news anymore as most people pegged this to be the reason for Dwight Howard’s departure from the Los Angeles Lakers, but Phil Jackson cleared up any gray area there might have been. The Zen Master, in his new book, states that Howard had no interest coming back to the Lakers once Kobe told him he planned on playing a few more years.

Via New York Daily News:

The Lakers invited Kobe and Steve to the final pitch meeting to help persuade Dwight to come on board. It sounded like a good idea. Steve sent out an amusing tweet before the meeting: “Dwight Howard we’re coming for you. You’re going to love the statue we build for you outside Staples in 20yrs!” And Kobe made a moving speech during the pitch, promising to teach Dwight the secret of winning championships that he’d learned from the best in the game.

If the meeting had ended there, it might have worked. But after the presentation, Dwight asked Kobe what he was planning to do after he recovered from his Achilles injury. Was this going to be his last year? “No,” replied Kobe. “I’m planning to be around for three or four more years.”

At that point, according to others in the room, Dwight’s eyes went blank and he drifted away. In his mind, the game was over.

Kobe Bryant will have his name mentioned among the greats someday and surely of this era, but the fact remains that many players were never fond of playing with him. From the Shaquille O’Neal feud to the Karl Malone incident, Kobe went through the 2000s with drama attached to his name.

Even the Zen Master himself apparently wanted to trade Kobe going so far to say he was “uncoachable.” And, of course, more recently, Kobe Bryant had a “beef” with little-known guard Smush Parker. Kobe Bryant may end as the most polarizing superstar in any generation. But that doesn’t mean everyone has liked him over the years. We can add D12 to that list.

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14 Responses to Phil Jackson says Dwight Howard left Lakers because of Kobe Bryant

  • Dwight knew right then the only way he would touch the ball was when he rebounded a Kobe miss.No way this big man with so much maturing to do could ever handle not being the first to get the ball every possession. Howard would be melting down mentally during games so much he would be useless.This year during the playoffs I saw for the first time a little hope Dwight just might become a force without disappearing.Harden and his ballhog mentality could ruin that hope though.

    • No “new information.” I do, however, think that it is sad that “private” details or events between Mr. Jackson and players should be jus that–private! Why would anyone want to work with and/or for Mr. Jackson when it’s obvious that he has an urgent need to “publish” those private thoughts and/or meetings. This is pathetic!!! This causes me to loose respect for Mr. Jackson…it shows him as “small.”

      • Phil Jackson is a flake, an old two faced hippie with no honor. A shameless self promoter.

      • What a big mouth Mr. Jackson has!!! Wow! Not everyone is going to like the same person ever! But with Kobe’s help Mr Shaq. and smoch, made Championships! So wrong, but keep writing books Phil, I really like the insert about giving Jennie a ring to a bed ridden Jerry to lift his spirits???? When is that marriage anyway????? Wonder why the Lakers say NO to you!

  • I feel the same about phil jackson to me he is small and pathetic and another thing the nba has or losing credibility with this lebron thing they are going over broad with it what the nba need to do is give the smaller market some kind of real life to obtain quality player not just for lebron needs while you guys the media down wade and bost an lift lebron in every unrealistic heroism the nba is being killed with all theses fictional review on lebron you guys pick who you want to lead everything that lebron has you guys give to him mvp’s championship all you big mouth nothing said right steven fraud a it going to come to a end soon and would l be really glad because you guys has destroyed something almost real

  • The truth on this feud:
    1. Yes Kobe is a locker room cancer and can be “tough to play with” as he admits.
    2. But Howard himself is a massive cancer, if not worse.

    If the dispute with Kobe came from someone else, Kobe might take all the blame. But the fact that Nash, a true respected pro, also had beef for Howard, and none for Kobe, shows Howard was the locker room problem. He has had his problems in Orlando and Houston too. In LA, his half-azz picks on screen rolls angered the team and coaches alike.

    • Nash did not have a beef with Howard. He had a problem with him in one game. I’m sure he didn’t appreciate the fact that Howard didn’t want to play pick and roll, but he had no public or private feud with Howard. The question is–why did Howard leave LA? The answer is (and anyone paying attention knew it) because he didn’t want to play 3 more years with Kobe Bryant. That is not excusing Howard’s immaturity or anything else. It’s just a statement of fact which has been confirmed more than once.

  • “Kobe Bryant may end as the most polarizing superstar in any generation. But that doesn’t mean everyone has liked him over the years.”

    Uh, duh? If everybody liked him, he wouldn’t be polarizing.

  • A blessing for the Lakers, Dwight’s tenure in Orlando showed three irrefutable facts; 1.) He can’t have as many touches as he wants and contribute to winning, he is a black hole. 2.) He is an immature clown. 3.) He is a flake of the first order, never makes good decisions and is certainly a locker room cancer.
    The man wants the spotlight on himself until time to accept responsibility then he is pointing the finger at others. Yes, Kobe can be difficult but he wants to win and puts in the work to do so, can’t say the same for D12.

  • Is Kobe difficult because he holds his team-mates accountable? Or is he naturally a prick? Who knows, it could be a combination of the two. Either way, I’d much rather play with a guy that holds his team-mates accountable and brings it every night as opposed to someone that’s emotionally fragile. Dwight Howard is one of the most emotionally weak athletes in professional sports. Howard will never win a title due to one missing ingredient, ‘toughness.’ So, he can keep his fragile ego in Houston and remain ring-less. Good f**king riddance.

  • Kobe is one hell of a player and winning is all he wants, his problem is it’s every one fault but his if they lose ! that is hard to deal with as a TEAM MATE, it is a TEAM game and if you don’t believe that try playing 1 on 5 game !. You have to remember in Hollywood everyone wants their name at the top, Howard seen KOBES name first and if their is one pork chop on the plate which dog is going to get it?. LAL will not win again until Kobe is gone from the game in LA and that also means no coaching in LA!. Phil has his right to say want he wants in public or in private or in his book remember he has 11 rings and has helped put rings on a lot of fingers, When he says he say Howards eyes drop he knew then that Kobe kicked him in the gut and that was the beginning of the end!.

  • Sorry for the Kobe fanatics who are now bashing Phil Jackson but Kobe is the problem. He is sick!! He thinks he is the greatest and wants all the attention. He ruined the game of Gary Payton, a top caliber point guard who cannot touch the ball because of Kobe. He also ruined Malone’s game because he doesnt want them to shine and outshine him.

    • Your right Ding Sterman There is only room for one name in the hollywood markee and that is KOBE’s. He is a good player but not a team player and that is the problem. A great player makes his team mates good players also and Kobe doe’s not do that he is a me player.

      • Have you been watching basketball, what is wrong with you. The guy won 5 championship rings with good players surround him. If he is not a team player, how would he win all those games without his team. Go follow Lebron, your team player, what does it get him, 2 rings with very great player. Does it make sense to you or do I need to educate you?

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