- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski)
Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant has challenged Dwight Howard to stay with the Lakers and learn from the best.
Bryant has taken a lead roll in working to keep Howard on the Lakers' team. After becoming a free agent earlier this summer, Howard has easily become one of the most recruited players in the NBA. With multiple other teams vying for his attention, Bryant has come forward with a challenge.
One of the final teams to make a presentation to Howard on Tuesday, Bryant suggested with confidence that he could help form Howard into a champion.
"You have to learn how it's done," Kobe said, according to witnesses at the event told Yahoo Sports.
"I know how to do it and I've learned from the best – players who have won multiple times over and over."
But Howard, already a five time NBA champion, has at least five teams who are confident that they can offer Howard the kind of deal he wants and Howard has clashed with Bryant in the past. Golden State, Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston were also called in to place their bids. Outside of the Lakers, sources said the forerunner is the Rockets.
"The Rockets have put themselves in position to pull this off," one source with knowledge of Howard's decision-making process, told Yahoo. "If he wants to win right now – and be set up to keep winning – it's hard to make a case for anyone but Houston."
The Lakers would be able to offer Howard up $118 million for a five-year contract. Other teams stand somewhere at around $88 million for four years.
Howard made plans to retreat outside of California over the next few days as he decides which way he plans on going. His decision could come as soon as Friday, although he could also take the weekend to reflect.