Dwight Howard thanks Kobe Bryant for calling him 'soft' but admits he 'hated' the Lakers superstar at the time

Dwight Howard spent one season with the Los Angeles Lakers resulting in a 45–37 record and a first-round loss in the playoffs. The failure of that season has stuck with him and his reputation, going from a top player in the league to someone who has struggled to find a fit in the NBA

Howard was asked about this time in his career on "FairGame" with FS1's Kristine Leahy. He recalled an interaction with Kobe Bryant after he was traded from the Lakers to the Houston Rockets where the Lakers legend called him "soft" and challenged Howard saying, "try me". 

Any NBA fan who hears Bryant and Howard discussed in the same sentence will most likely immediately think of this interaction, which Howard did not hold back on. 

Dwight Howard on Kobe Bryant Calling Him Soft by Edwin Ortiz on Vimeo

Howard said he hated Bryant for years for his comments saying, "He had a comment about me being soft. And I think for years, I kinda hated him for saying that."

The now Grizzlies center says how he initially took the comments in a different way than Bryant may have intended them. He said, "I think he was more so talking about my mentality. Not my physique, not how I am on the court. Like my edge. And I didn't realize that because of all the noise surrounding him saying I was soft. And I hated it. I hated him for that moment. But I realized what he was talking about."

He is now thankful for the comments saying, "Everybody reaches different levels of maturity at different times. I think at that time I was ignorant to the level that he was at. So I appreciate you, Kobe. Thank you for saying I was soft. I didn't realize what you meant until now."

The 33-year-old eight-time All-Star spent last season with the Washington Wizards, and is now on his fifth different team since leaving the Lakers in the summer of 2013.

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