On our last preview podcast, I tabbed Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard as the set of teammates least likely to get along with each other, mostly because I figured there’d be a point in the season where Kobe got mad at Dwight’s happy-go-lucky antics and/or terrible free throw shooting. After reading this story, I feel like I made a strong choice.
“It’ll all come together at the right time,” Howard said late Wednesday night in the locker room after the Lakers got blown off the court in Portland.
Before that, Howard turned on some pleasant music so he could groove in front of his locker while he got dressed, his teammates all already long gone to the bus. Before that, he asked a Lakers staffer if hitting his free throws meant he could have his Halloween candy. Then he asked again. And again.
Before that, Howard mooned a TV cameraman whom he suspected of having his camera on while Howard had his underwear halfway down. Howard responded by sticking his rear end farther out, saying: “I’ve got a wide shot for you.” And he giggled.
I’m not saying it’s a big deal that Dwight Howard wants to pull his butt out or eat some candy because he actually made some free throws, but I can definitely see this being the sort of thing that rubs Kobe Bryant the wrong way. After all, he does have some unpleasant history with big men making butt jokes.
But on the other hand, someone has to keep things loose in the locker room. I can’t imagine Kobe being the most gregarious character before and after games, Pau Gasol is probably nose-deep in an anatomy textbook and Metta World Peace is alternately doing pushups and freestyling so maybe they need a jokester. And after all Dwight’s impressions have been played out and the team realizes his Kobe isn’t all that good, maybe pulling out his butt is his next best joke. Butts can be pretty funny. Just ask Will Ferrell. He made a career out of it.
The main thing about this, however, is that there is a very good chance there’s a video on some cameraman’s camera of Dwight Howard mooning him and saying “I’ve got a wide shot for you.” If that’s not the very definition of viral, I don’t know what is.