In a game between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard managed to grab a rebound and ended up fouling Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, who was visibly quite heated up over the incident, claimed that Howard was “soft” because of what had happened.
And while Howard did not respond publicly after the incident went down, it does not look like it has managed to slip past his ears unnoticed. Masin Elije also saw the old video and decided to mock Howard.
In a new interview, Howard admitted that for some time, he fully hated Bryant for the remark he had made. In fact, his hatred could have spanned over a period of several years, according to Howard himself.
"I appreciate you Kobe. Thank you for saying that I was soft. I didn't realize what you meant until now."
Dwight Howard hated when Kobe called him soft, but now he understands the Mamba mentality. pic.twitter.com/j1Q9hjtcRd
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) July 18, 2019
However, Howard also admitted that he might have misunderstood the intention behind the statement.
After reviewing it in his head, he has apparently come to the conclusion that Bryant may have been referring to his mentality, rather than his physical abilities.
With that in mind, he had a fresh outlook on the situation and did not want to hold on to his anger anymore.
In the end, Howard finished by thanking Bryant for making that comment, explaining that it has managed to open his eyes in various ways, and it was something that he appreciated.
— Black Dynamite (@theblackercaleb) July 18, 2019
He now fully understands what Bryant was trying to say with the remark, and does not hold any negative feelings for him for it.
Quite on the contrary, he has adopted a very positive attitude towards Bryant and wanted to make that clear in a recent interview where he discussed the incident at length.
Talking to Kristine Leahy on Fair Game, he said: “He had a comment about me being soft, and I think for years I kinda hated him for saying that because I looked at it the wrong way. I think he was talking more so about my mentality, not my physique or how I am on the court. And I didn’t realize that because of the noise surrounding him saying I saw soft. And I hated it. I hated him for that moment.”
He added: “I get it now. Everybody reaches different levels of maturity at different times. I think at that time I was ignorant to the level that he was at. But I appreciate you, Kobe. Thank you for saying I was soft. I didn’t realize what you meant ’til now.”
Will Bryant react to this statement?