The Houston Rockets are off to a 9-3 start this season, but personally, it's been rough for Dwight Howard since late October. So much so that it appears as if even ex-teammate Kobe Bryant is backing off.
If you remember, the Rockets' center appeared to be backpedaling following an on-court confrontation with Bryant during a Houston-Los Angeles Lakers pre-season game on October 28. Then Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant was heard calling Howard a "p***y" during OKC's game with Houston this past Sunday.
To make matters worse, Howard is involved in a child-abuse investigation of his 6-year-old son, who the NBA superstar admitted to whipping with a belt. Early into the week, it seemed as if the center was cleared of any wrongdoing, but that report was a bit premature, as Howard is being criminally investigated for the whipping.
It seems like Bryant doesn't want to add to his former teammate's problems. He credited his and Durant's confrontations with Howard as nothing more than the "heat of the battle."
"No, I don't feel that way. I don't think Kevin does, either," said Bryant, who scored a game-high 29 points against the Rockets, who were playing without Howard (strained right knee) on Wednesday night. "In moments of confrontation during a game, you'll say things in the heat of the moment. Heat of the battle, heat of the moment. You [reporters] have all been in arguments, you guys that are married. Sometimes you say things that you wish you could take back that you don't really mean. But it's in the heat of confrontation, and sometimes things come out."
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(Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)