Ever since Dwight Howard got traded to the Lakers, fans and media have obsessed over what his relationship with Kobe Bryant would be like. These are the focal points of one of the most storied franchises in sports, with polar opposite personalities and reps.
The Lakers have been a disappointment for most of the season. Howard struggled to stay healthy and get in shape early on in the season. Trading for Steve Nash has at times seemed like a flat-out miscue. Pau Gasol lost what little swag he had. And Kobe's been forced to do far too much. Easy to see how players on that team could get frustrated, no doubt.
Let's be honest here, though; we never could really see Kobe and Dwight kickin it at say, Delilah's Strip Club after a loss in Philly. This whole Kobe vs. Dwight thing has been fun for us to observe, but it's not even close to the heart of the problems they've been having in Los Angeles. It's been misfortune with injuries and lack of team chemistry in general.
Howard had this to say about his relationship with Bryant on the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz:
“We’re not best friends but I would say that we understand where we’re at. We’re pretty much on the same page as far as what it’s going to take for us to get to the next level and for us to win. I have to bring that energy and effort every night and because I’m in better shape, I’m able to do that for longer periods.”
Howard also said he wasn't in "Orlando Magic-shape Dwight Howard" but that he's getting there. Shows on the floor, too. He's got that extra lift, and if he and Kobe are as smart as I think they are, both of them realize what's at stake and how little being "best friends" matters right now.