Dwight Howard And Mike D'Antoni Dodge Kobe Bryant Questions - NBC Southern California
Triple Threat
Covering sports across Southern California

Dwight Howard And Mike D'Antoni Dodge Kobe Bryant Questions

The Lakers blew an 18-point lead against the Washington Wizards, but after the game, Dwight Howard and Mike D'Antoni would not openly blame Kobe Bryant's poor decisions in the fourth quarter.



    Dwight Howard was asked why the ball stopped moving after the Lakers' loss to the Wizards, and he offered an awkward smile and refused to blame Kobe Bryant. (Published Saturday, March 23, 2013)

    The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the lowly Washington Wizards on Friday night. Two days later, it still doesn’t sound or feel any better, but this loss was forgivable. Why?

    Well, Kobe Bryant lost the game, and he is entitled to lose one after being on the shelf for a week with an ankle injury. 

    There, I said it. It was Kobe’s fault.

    He’s won several games this year, and the Lakers are only as good as Kobe, but Friday night, he didn’t play great in the second half. Kobe’s 13 fourth quarter points on 4-10 shooting would not appear to be all that destructive, but he stopped sharing the ball and refused to play defense.

    Lakers Shootaround: Howard on Gasol's Return

    [LA] 3.22.2013 Dwight Howard Shootaround Lakers
    Ahead of the Washington Wizards coming to Staples Center, Dwight Howard talked to media about the return of Pau Gasol at Los Angeles Lakers morning shootaround.
    (Published Friday, March 22, 2013)

    His defensive assignment, Trevor Ariza, hit four 3-pointers down the stretch. 

    When asked why Ariza was so open, Dwight Howard tried to hold back a smile as he refused to answer (Video: Howard dodges tricky Kobe Bryant question). Everyone knew the answer. Kobe didn’t play defense, and Ariza burned the Lakers. Howard wouldn’t say it, though.

    Howard was not the only person dodging questions and refusing to utter the words “Kobe Bryant” after the game.

    Roggin: Will Pau Gasol's Return To Lakers Disrupt Chemistry?

    [LA] Roggin's Rants: Will Pau Gasol's Return Disrupt Chemistry?
    Friday's game against the Washington Wizards is going to be a big test for Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. The Lakers have been playing well without previously injured Pau Gasol, so D'Antoni will have to prove whether he's changed the system enough to let Gasol succeed. Fred Roggin reports on March 21, 2013.
    (Published Tuesday, June 18, 2013)

    Coach Mike D’Antoni went off on a rant that called the Lakers’ championship aspirations “laughable.” He appeared as frustrated as he’s ever been, but even he would not say the name.

    When asked about why the ball was sticking during the fourth quarter, D’Antoni smiled sarcastically and said, “Oh I don’t know.”

    “I wish I Knew,” D’Antoni laughed hysterically. “What, you gonna thow me a piece of dynamite?”

    Dwight Howard Jokes About Healthy Lakers

    [LA] Funny Dwight Howard T.O. Impression Lakers
    At Los Angeles Lakers practice on March 21, 2013, Dwight Howard shows everyone he's having fun with the healthy Lakers in a funny way by impersonating Terrell Owens crying.
    (Published Thursday, March 21, 2013)

    The answer was simple and scary: Kobe. D’Antoni, like Howard, couldn’t say the name.

    When a player takes 10 of the final 20 field goal attempts and attempts all seven free throws in the fourth quarter, there is no real mystery as to why the ball stopped moving. Kobe went on the floor and decided to out-shoot the Wizards. He failed, and the Lakers lost.

    The Lakers put up 26 points in the final quarter, but Bryant’s poor defense also helped allow 31 points—Ariza had 14 of those. For anyone interested, the rest of the Lakers actually shot 5-10 in the fourth quarter, and that was without Howard or Gasol attempting a single shot.

    Kobe lost a game. It happens. He'll move on. The Lakers will too.

    After the day off on Saturday, the Lakers return to practice on Sunday morning. Then, they start a four-game road trip on Monday at the Golden State Warriors.