Sports Out West

Lakers news: Dwight Howard downplays Kobe Bryant Feud

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Los Angeles Lakers superstar Dwight Howard sat down with NBA and entertainment reporter Kevin Frazier in an interview taped on Saturday and shed some light on one of the hottest topics around Hollywood.

The alleged feud between he and Kobe Bryant never existed (via Time Warner Cable SportsNet:)

“I don’t think there’s any friction between us,” Howard said in a sit down interview taped Saturday. “We both want to win, and we want to make history, and that’s our goal right there. We understand that everybody’s going to make an assumption of how we are just because we have two different personalities. We have one common goal. We want to win.”

Making history is exactly what the Los Angeles dynamic duo would do if they managed to pull their season from the depths of despair and make a run at a franchise 17th NBA championship. Once headed for an epic collapse that seemed inevitable, things have quickly turned around behind strong play from Bryant and Howard.

Though the Lakers started the season 17-25, they now sit at 34-31 and in sole possession of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have won four straight, largely due to the efforts of their man in the middle. In 11 games since the All-Star break, Howard is averaging 17.6 points and 14.9 rebounds and displaying much of the explosiveness he had during his days donning a red cape.

He went on to deny any notion that there was ever a fight between he and Bryant:

“None of that stuff, we never had a fight,” he said. “We never had moments where we’ve been close to getting in each other’s faces… That’s never been us. People say that on the outside because they want to start stuff.”

It’s not far-fetched in the land of basketball hyperbole known as Los Angeles, and that sensationalist culture isn’t going to change any time soon. The fan base and media will continue to react and overreact to the roller coaster ride that is sure to continue this year, both on and off the court. As the team moves forward, it appears that Bryant and Howard are on the same page.

“(Bryant) said ‘Listen, the stuff that we’re going through this year, it’s nothing compared to the stuff we’ve been through in the past, so let’s keep it moving,'” Howard added.

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.