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Was Kobe calling Dwight out out when he spoke to Jackie MacMullan? He says he wasn't. You be the judge ...
Here are Kobe's statements to MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com:
- "We don't have time for (Howard's shoulder) to heal ... We need some urgency."
- "Dwight worries too much about what people think ... I told him, 'You can't worry about that. It's holding you back.' He says, 'OK, OK, OK,' but it's always hovering around him.
"He just wants people to like him. He doesn't want to let anyone down, and that gets him away from what he should be doing."
-"(Howard) has never been in a position where someone is driving him as hard as I am, as hard as this organization is ... It's win a championship or everything is a complete failure. That's just how (the Lakers) do it. And that's foreign to him.
"When you think about it, there aren't many organizations that look at it that way. There are only two that can really honestly say that's what they live by -- Los Angeles and Boston."
Here's what Kobe said about how his comments were perceived:
- "I think the statements from yesterday were just really overblown, to be honest with you. I didn’t say anything that was offensive or try to take a run at him. It’s pretty shocking in terms of how everybody reacted to it. I wasn’t trying to do anything. It’s pretty simple. If he’s healthy, he’ll play. If he’s not, he won’t. I didn’t say anything that was groundbreaking. Do we need urgency? Yeah, we need urgency but if he’s hurt and it’s going to get worse, he can’t play. It was a pretty interesting day to see how everybody kind of jumped on those statements."
- "If I had a message in mind, I’d make it pretty black and white. I don’t need to be surreptitious about it."