Dwight Howard says he could have communicated better to squash any perceived beefs he had with former teammates James Harden and Kobe Bryant.
Instead the Lakers finished with a 45–37 record and were swept out of the playoffs in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.
His issues with Bryant are well-documented, but after Howard signed with the Rockets that summer, he says the same issues arose with Harden.
“James is not the kind of guy who is going to say, ‘Yo, man, you got a problem?’ and I’m not either,” Howard says to SI's Lee Jenkins. “When I don’t like what’s going on, I tend to shut down, put my headphones on and ignore everything. I don’t talk about things. That happened to me in L.A. It happened to me again in Houston. I should have communicated better.”
One Rockets official called a meeting with Howard and Harden that felt more like an intervention. Harden voiced what he wanted from Howard, namely stronger screens and tougher rim protection, but Howard didn’t express much in response. The freeze deepened.
Howard, who says he doesn't have many friends in the NBA, ended up spending three seasons in Houston before signing a three-year, $70 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks in 2016.
He was later traded to the Charlotte Hornets in June.