The differences between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are vast and varied; they are also well-documented. Kobe is a fighter, Dwight doesn’t like confrontation. Kobe plays with passion, Dwight plays with puppy dogs. Kobe loves to compete, Dwight avoids conflict.
If anyone needs further convincing of this dichotomous divide, note Exhibit Z: Serge Ibaka hit Blake Griffin of the Clippers in the unspeakables the other night and the Lakers, preparing to play the Thunder, were asked about the incident.
Kobe thought of retaliation, Dwight did not.
“I probably would have smacked [Ibaka] in the mouth,” Bryant said after the Los Angeles Lakers practiced. “I would have dealt with the pain after.”
Dwight Howard laughed it off. “I mean, you got to wear a cup,” he joked.
I don’t know Dwight Howard. He seems to be a decent man and I like his jocund, jovial self away from the court. But I will never appreciate an athlete that competes within the context of a Saturday Night Live skit.
There’s nothing funny about driving a metaphorical spear in the ground while lowering a dead-level stare at your opponent beneath a furrowed brow and screaming, “You shall not pass!” There’s nothing funny about physically confronting, competing and consuming the will of your enemy when they’re trying to do the same thing to you and your teammates.
It’s black and Dwight: the belly burns with righteous indignation…or it does not.