Breaking News

Gov. Kemp signs bill allowing stores to deliver beer, wine, liquor to Georgians’ homes

X

Howard: ‘Let Kobe retire in peace’

Dwight Howard (left) and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers leave the court during a game in 2012. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Dwight Howard (left) and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers leave the court during a game in 2012. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dwight Howard still doesn’t want to speak about Kobe Bryant.

The Hawks host the Lakers tonight in what will be Howard’s first game against one of his former teams as the new center of the Hawks. It will also be the first time the Bryant-less Lakers play the Hawks after he retired last season.

Howard and Bryant were teammates during the 2012-13 season with the Lakers. The pairing lasted one unceremonious year after Howard left via free agency for the Rockets. In an interview with USA Today after the split, Bryant said Howard was uncomfortable with what can be an uncomfortable locker room dynamic on a championship caliber team. Bryant also famously called Howard “soft” after taking exception to an elbow by Howard in a game between the Lakers and Rockets in Oct. 2104.

Howard was asked Wednesday morning if it was weird to play the Lakers without Bryant.

“Not really,” Howard said.

When it was stated by a reporter that Bryant was an institution with the Lakers, Howard first responded with a long pause. Then he offered a simple non-answer.

“Let Kobe retire in peace,” Howard said.

The Lakers, with Bryant, have always had a large contingent of fans at Philips Arena in his career. Many fans carried signs of support for the future Hall of Famer.

Paul Millsap said Wednesday he hoped that the absence of Bryant would swing the crowd more in favor of the Hawks.

“Hopefully a lot less Lakers fans,” Millsap said.