Find Station

Dwight Howard Thanks Kobe Bryant For Calling Him 'Soft'

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard: “I didn’t have a personal problem with Kobe I just think we were on two different levels mentally and he had never seen a person like me; someone who could 'enjoy' basketball. I can understand how he would be that way because he’s played with a lot of grown men for a long time and here I am a kid trying to come to the Lakers franchise and win another championship. He had a comment about me being ‘soft’ and I kind of hated him for saying that because I looked at it the wrong way. I think he was more so talking about my mentality, not about my physique or how I am on the court. I didn’t realize that because of the noise around him saying I was soft. I hated him for that moment, but I realized what he was talking about and I get it now. Everyone reaches different levels of maturity at different times, and at that time I was ignorant to the level he was at. I appreciate you Kobe, thank you for saying I was soft, I didn’t realize what you meant till now.”

Dwight Howard appeared on FS1’s ‘Fair Game’ With Host Kristine Leahy and opened up about his relationship with Kobe Bryant while they were teammates on the 2012/2013 Los Angeles Lakers, and most notably Bryant’s infamous ‘YOU’RE SOFT’ blast at Howard during an on-court spat a season later when Howard was on the Houston Rockets playing Bryant’s Lakers.

Howard admitted that the infamous moment was a little damning to his career, and said it untruthfully altered the way the average NBA fan thinks about him as a player. Howard said it’s one of the biggest reasons why he stopped using social media years ago, because of all the trolling he has gotten from it.

Howard was at one time one of the most feared and coveted big men in the league, and at one point was one of the top 5 players in the NBA. He went to eight consecutive All-Star games between 2007 and 2014, led the league in rebounding five times in six years (2007-2013), and led the league in blocks twice 2009 and 2010.

His career, however, seemed to plummet the second he left Orlando to team-up with a 2012 Lakers team that had also notably acquired former MVP Steve Nash in an offseason where people were calling it possibly the greatest team of all time with Kobe and Pau Gasol already having won championships together.

Howard also said that he now realizes why Bryant called him soft after all these years and even thanked him for it, saying he didn’t understand the true context of what Bryant was saying as a young player, and said he now embraces the harsh advice as a 34-year-old veteran with 15 years of experience.

Check out the two segments below: