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Kobe Bryant on Dwight Howard: “It’s my team.”

Kobe Bryant. It’s his team. (Reed Saxon / AP)

If there’s one thing Dwight Howard learned from his tumultuous final season in Orlando, he said recently, it’s that “I can’t please everybody.”

He’s going to have to make an exception, though, for the guy who wears No. 24 on his new team.

“I got a question earlier about whose team this is,” Kobe Bryant said on the Los Angeles Lakers’ media day (via ESPN LA). “I don’t want to get into the, ‘Well, we share …’ No, it’s my team. But I want to make sure that Dwight, when I retire, this is going to be his. I want to teach him everything I possibly know so that when I step away this organization can ride on as if I never left.”

That’s a pretty clearly defined line, which is probably a smart idea on a team that now includes Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. Howard, on Day 1, said he has no problem with that.

“I’m willing to go through that process, learn from one of the greatest to ever play the game and I think it will be great,” Howard said. “I think learning from a guy like Kobe, I know he’s going to be tough on me, but I expect that and I want him to do that. So, I’ll take all the heat that he’s going to give me because I know at the end of the day that’s going to make me a better player and a better person and it’s going to make this team better.”

Hard as it is to believe, Bryant, 34, is entering his 17th season in the NBA. He’s conscious that his chances for winning another title no longer seem infinite.

“This organization has done so much for me. I’m so thankful to them,” Bryant said. “That’s one of the conversations that [Lakers vice president of player personnel] Jimmy [Buss] and I had over the summer. It was like, ‘If you have the opportunity to get Dwight, get him because I want to see this organization continue to flourish and continue to be successful long after I’m gone.’ “

Leave it to World Peace to sum up this era of, well, world peace for the Lakers (via the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke):

“There will be no problems because we’re like the Care Bears. We love each other, we care for each other, we’re here on this Earth as one, to love each other and … “

 Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP


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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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