With things already looking bleak for the 17-24 Los Angeles Lakers, the team reportedly held a meeting before shootaround Wednesday to hash out some of their issues per the L.A. Times. During the meeting, players were asked to speak up, with Kobe Bryant specifically asking first-year Lakers center Dwight Howard if Dwight had a problem playing alongside Bryant:
“Guys went at each other a little bit,” said a person who witnessed the meeting.
Bryant also spoke up, acknowledging he could be “hard to play with” and asking Howard if that bothered him.
Howard’s answer was unclear, though he did not engage Bryant in nearly as vocal a manner as Bryant engaged him.
“He didn’t go back at Kobe,” said the person who witnessed the meeting.
There has clearly been a disconnect with the Lakers this season, with issues piling up from everything to the defense to shot distribution, the latter coming from Howard himself.
Howard addressed the media after shootaround, taking accountability for the rest of the Lakers season:
“It starts with me,” he said Wednesday. “I have to be more of a player out there on the court and not worry about anything, not complain. Just do what I do best.”
“I’ve just got to go out there and dominate defensively and make it tough for teams. I just have to get back to doing that and not worry about the offense. “I think this will be the start of a new season for us tonight. Hopefully our effort and energy is where it needs to be,” he said.
Lakers fans are hoping for a spectacular turnaround for the final 41 games of their regular season. If not, then the Lakers are faced with missing the playoffs for the first time since 2004-2005 and nothing to show for their $100 million roster except turmoil.
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