Kobe Bryant: “Dwight Howard is Going to be One of the Greatest Centers of All Time”

My, how far Kobe Bryant has come from that one night in Colorado.

Dogged for years for his prima donna attitude, his infighting, his feud with Shaw, and his general (what seemed to be) cockiness and smuggishness, Kobe seemed to be a personal turn-off in just about every way. Now, after refurbishing his brand, winning multiple NBA championships on his own, and courting Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant was sticking up for Dwight Howard.

“I mean, Dwight is going to be one of the greatest centers of all time,” he said on Tuesday. “To not say anything but is laughable.”

Howard has come under the lens since arriving in Lotus Land because Shaq has put him there. Shaq blasted Dwight last week, saying he was behind Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez when it comes to active centers. Shaq’s long personal dislike for Dwight makes that claim not only inaccurate, but obviously biased.

And, remember, there’s nothing wrong with bias. But, blind and obvious bias? You deserve the tomatoes.

On ESPN’s First Take, Skip and Stephen A. reflected on their public poll, where 52.4% of those responding said Dwight Howard will not finish his career as one of the greatest centers of all time.

“Let me make sure I’m correct,” began Stephen A. “It says that 52% said No, is that correct? Those 52% of the people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about… Kobe Bryant is absolutely, positively correct about the potential that exists within Dwight Howard.”

Predictably, Skip Bayless disagreed. It’s First Take, after all.

“To Kobe, I say baloney,” he said, with a weak try for a rhyme. “I realize, Kobe, that you’re just defending your new teammate from the old teammate… You do have a Kareem, and you do have a Russell, and you do have a Wilt, and you do have a Shaquille.

“To put Dwight Howard in the same sentence as Shaquille O’Neal is almost as blasphemous and preposterous as it is to put LeBron in the same sentence as Michael Jordan.”

Somehow, it seems like both of them missed the point, but that happens… it’s First Take, after all.