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Just when you thought the drama in Lakerland couldn't get any more juicy, Kobe Bryant has essentially thrown in the towel on the Dwight Howard era.

Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski had this little gem in a piece about Howard and Chris Paul's impending free agency:

When asked about the possibility of the Lakers moving Howard at the deadline, Kobe Bryant was devastatingly indifferent. "I don't know what they're going to do," he said Sunday. "At this point, it doesn't matter."

Rest assured, Bryant and Howard didn't spend this All-Star weekend bonding the way Bryant and Andrew Bynum did a year ago. Bryant doesn't ask Howard about his future, nor does he sell him on re-signing. The trade deadline is Thursday, but the organization still hasn't come to Howard with that ultimate question: Come July, are you in or out?

Wow, devastating is right. So much to read into there. It doesn't matter if the Lakers trade Howard? Sure this season looks to be over for the purple and yellow, but what about next year or the year after and so on.

It makes you wonder if the Lakers even want to sign Howard as a free agent this summer if Bryant doesn't want him. He is at the end of his career, but Bryant has come out recently saying he'd play a couple more seasons and one would think he would have some say in what players the Lakers bring in. Although, the Lakers didn't consult Bryant when they hired Mike Brown to coach or when they picked Mike D'Antoni to replace him, so who knows.

Bryant and Bynum butted heads plenty during the oft-injured seven-footers tenure as a Laker, but Bryant still went out of his way to try and get Bynum to stay. The fact that Bryant couldn't care less about what happens with Howard speaks volumes.

Maybe that experience burned Bryant, since Bynum didn't re-up and was dealt to Philadelphia in the trade for Howard. Maybe he thinks it doesn't matter if he tries or not, the decision still resides with Howard and Lakers management. Maybe Bryant was paying attention to the circus that was the Orlando Magic last season and wants no part of that headache of will he or won't he. Or perhaps Bryant has seen all he needs to from Howard and would rather play with a big man who puts winning above everything else.

Woj doesn't attribute his information to anyone, but if Bryant and the Lakers aren't even talking to Howard about what his plans are this close to the trade deadline that could mean two things. They are either ready to be rid of the pain in the ass that is Howard or they know he will re-sign since no one else can offer as much money or opportunities as LA.

With every nugget of strife and animosity that comes out of LA, it just solidifies the fact that championship teams can't always be bought and great players don't always mesh. Kind of makes the 2007-08 Celtics championship that much more special. The Big Three bonded from the jump and did what so many doubted they could do: left their egos at the door and played as a team.

Eric Blaisdell 2/18/2013 05:17:00 PM Edit
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