When Dwight Howard arrived in Los Angeles, he said that he wanted to be pushed by Kobe Bryant. Howard said he wanted to be great and win championships.
Then he ran off to Houston.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Howard revealed the kind of “push” he wanted to receive from those around him – a push that ended with a hug:
[pullquote]“I’m looking forward to having him and Kevin McHale push me. When I sat down with Kevin, he reminded me a lot of the drive of Clifford Ray (a former Magic assistant coach) when Clifford Ray was my big man coach. He pushed me to the limit every day and then I worked out. He always said, ‘I’m going to kick your (butt)’ and at the end of the day give you a hug.’ ”[/pullquote]
That’s the sort of relationship Dwight Howard wants: sure, he wants to be pushed to be a great player, but at the end of the day, he wants to be loved. That may sound crazy seeing as he’s an NBA player – especially one who’s meant to be a franchise player – but it’s the truth.
Kobe Bryant will push you to be great, and he’s not going to apologize if your feelings get hurt in the process, and rightly so.
Even Bryant’s good friend and possibly favorite person of all-time, Pau Gasol, has received no “special treatment” from Kobe.
After the rescinded Chris Paul trade in 2011, Kobe said he had no time for “babysitting people and burping people” if their feelings were hurt after being traded and then untraded.
“You’ve gotta be a grown man,” Kobe said.
Of course, Bryant was talking about Pau.
There’s also the now infamous “big boy pants” quote. (And the constant trade rumors. And the fans not always being on his side. But still, Pau wants to be a Laker.)
That’s the way Bryant is. He’s serious about winning. He’s not going to be laughing and making jokes after a blowout loss. He’s not going to be hugging you either, and telling you everything’s going to be OK.
No Boys Allowed.