Kobe Bryant wants the last word in the Dwight Howard “shenanigans” that has begun since free agency opened last night at midnight. For the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant is the go-to-guy down the stretch and he is asked, yet again, to come through in the clutch for the franchise once more.
This time the stakes are very different. This time, no scouting report in the world can prepare the Black Mamba for what is going to transpire with NBA‘s most mentally and emotionally unstable superstar the league has ever seen. If you thought LeBron James was bad a few seasons ago, guess again. Howard changes his mind as much as Beyonce changes outfits during one of her concerts.
Bryant will not beg Howard to stay, but what he will do is remind Howard of what being a Laker can mean for his career both on and off the court. Bryant knows from experience. He has been an icon since joining the Lakers as a 17-year-old high school graduate, and he knew how to play to the crowd. He gave the people of Los Angeles more than they could ever wish for. All the clutch shots, monster slams and championship celebrations are what makes Bryant the most beloved figure in all of Hollywood.
Bryant’s accomplishments on the court has transferred to his brand off the court as well.
Nike’s Kobe Zoom line of basketball sneakers are one of the most popular sneakers on the market. The commercials that Nike produces with Bryant are very intriguing and sometimes hilarious.
Bryant is recognized all over the world as a global icon. He is the ultimate ambassador to the sport of basketball. All the fame and success off the court comes from winning championships on the court as a Los Angeles Laker.
Bryant’s message to Howard will be more to the tune of, if he wins in L.A. as the face of the franchise, Howard’s star will grow more than he will ever know.
We all know Howard has other interests outside of basketball. There is no better place in the world to achieve that dream than living in Hollywood while playing for the Lakers.
If Bryant has the gift of persuasion, then he has Howard right where he wants him, but if Howard does not want the pressure of winning championships with a very demanding fan base, then Bryant and company will be just wasting their time.