LONDON – Until earlier today, Dwight Howard‘s entire NBA career was spent in a Orlando Magic uniform.
But Kobe Bryant didn’t need to Howard him in purple and gold to know that he’s a better fit in Los Angeles and with the Lakers, on and off the court, than he ever was in Orlando.
The job of blending Howard’s game into what the Lakers will do with a star-studded lineup that also includes two-time MVP Steve Nash and All-Star power forward Pau Gasol is ultimately the responsibility of Lakers coach Mike Brown.
Bryant said it won’t be an issue.
“He’s not going to have to sacrifice much,” Bryant said. “He’ll get more touches here than he did in Orlando. I know, it sounds weird to say, but it’s true. We do a great job playing through the post and playing through Pau … I mean, it’s going to be sensational.”
With one of the premier distributors in the game manning the controls in Nash, there should be plenty of shots for everyone. In fact, the Lakers, at least their top six rotation, will look like an All-Star team. Big 3 or 4? They’ve got a few more, what with Ron Artest and Antawn Jamison in the mix as well.
It’s a lineup that Bryant teammates on the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team never thought they’d see.
“We joked around about it a little bit during the summer,” Bryant said. “The consensus was there was no way we could get Dwight and still keep Pau, and they all love Pau for us. So they were like, ‘there is no way you’re going to let Pau go, and therefore you can’t Dwight.’ And I was like, ‘I think we can make that happen.’ We got Pau for virtually nothing [when we traded for him]. History does repeat itself.”
What Bryant is really looking forward to, though, is the future. Now that the season and summer of speculation is over and the Lakers have what could be a championship contender, training camp is already on his mind.
“It helps because you start getting into a frame of mind of what your team is going to look like,” he said.
He might have said it best earlier, when he said, “it’s going to be sensational.”