Kobe Bryant Is Already Drawing A Line Between Real Lakers And Dwight Howard

After his team suffered yet another disastrous loss, this one at the hands of the New York Knicks, Kobe Bryant had some thoughts to share with Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski about how his team can bounce back from its dreadful start:

"A lot of responsibility is going to fall on me and Pau [Gasol], but we need Metta [World Peace]," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. "Metta has a big presence on this team. I really encourage him to take that role head on – and to be an enforcer with it. But Metta, he's done it before. We've won before together."

Bryant stopped in the hallway on the way out of a 116-107 loss to the Knicks, his eyes widening and his voice – scratchy, tired from a night, from a season, of screaming – became a little louder, a little surer when he said again, "It has to be the guys who have done it before."

He let that hang there for a moment – who have done it before – and finally smirked and said, "Metta's just as intense as I am, and he's got a lot of that psychopath attitude that I do.

Right. If the Lakers are going to turn it around, they need their core players—Kobe, Pau, Metta—to come through. And... wait a minute. Kobe left someone out of his plans, didn't he? Someone who's the biggest, most athletic, and second-highest paid person on the team. Is Kobe using a Jordanesque passive-aggressive motivational tactic on Dwight Howard now? Or is he just making a down payment on assigning the blame?

[Yahoo]