Kobe Bryant News: Star Walking After Injury, Speaks on Dwight Howard

Though the Los Angeles Lakers weren't in this year's NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant still has reason to celebrate today, as he managed to walk for this first time since his season-ending Achilles tendon injury that occurred in April.

The Lakers all-star suffered a tear to his Achilles. He did not play in the Lakers' final regular season games, nor was he able to play in the playoffs. He is hoping to have a speedy recovery and be ready to go at the start of the 2013-2014 season.

The recovory and rehab period is usually 6-8 months, but Bryant plans to work hard to shorten that time period, Yahoo! News reported.

Kobe Bryant is already looking to the 2013-2014 season, as he is speaking about the Lakers' roster. Bryant spoke his opinions about Dwight Howard's impending free agency. Bryant apparently very much wants to keep Howard with the Lakers.

"When you have someone like [Dwight Howard] with his talent level, you have to be able to keep him and lock him in with this franchise," he told ESPN radio.

Bryant is not just looking out for himself when he says he wants the Lakers to keep Howard. He claims to also have the center's best interest in mind.

"With the history that this franchise has of having great centers, [the Lakers] would, in my opinion, be the perfect spot for him," he continued in the interview.

Dwight Howard is one of the NBA's best forward-centers. This past 2012-2013 season Howard led the league in rebounding, pulling down 12.4 rebounds per game. He also scored 17.1 points per game with a 57.8 field goal percentage.

That's not to say the Lakers big man does not have some weak points. In the 2012-2013 he had a free throw percentage of 49.3 percent. He also spent all of last season suffering from a back injury, according to CBS news. It is unclear how he will play after he fully recovers from his back injury.

No one is sure where Howard will go with his free agent status. Sports Illustrated reports that the center has interest in the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors as well as the Atlanta Hawks.

However Kobe is hoping that Dwight Howard will rebuff all those options and stay with the Los Angeles Lakers.