Metta World Peace believes Kobe Bryant’s want to extend career contributed to Dwight Howard’s departure

For someone who had professed ignorance all along about the situation, Metta World Peace sounded pretty insightful on why Dwight Howard left the Lakers and bolted for the Houston Rockets.

“I always knew Dwight was going to Houston. Things weren’t clicking,” World Peace said recently at Universal Studios where he filmed a segment with the Hallmark Channel’s “Home and Family slated to air today at 10 a.m. “Once Kobe [Bryant] said he could come back for three years, I knew Dwight was going to Houston.”

Why did World Peace think that?

“It’s not clicking,” World Peace said. “Nothing’s clicking.”

A week before free agency started, Bryant told Lakers.com he felt “pretty damn confident” he could play at a high level for “at least another three years.” Bryant’s $30.5 million contract expires following the 2013-14 season. Should he play two years or beyond his current contract, Bryant could’ve played the majority of Howard’s five-year deal worth $118 million.

The Howard-Bryant dynamic never reached the personal animosity between Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

When the Lakers acquired Howard last season in a four-team, 12-player trade from the Orlando Magic, Bryant openly embraced setting Howard up to become the team’s next franchise player. When Bryant suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in mid-April, Howard was among the first to visit him at his Newport Beach residence.

But frustration floundered over various differences. Howard’s jovial personality clashed with Bryant’s demanding leadership style. Bryant believed Howard didn’t have a consistently strong mindset in playing through injuries and dominating on defense. Howard soured when Bryant’s high shot volume came at the expense of him receiving the ball inside.

Did Bryant’s proclamation about extending his career convince Howard his hope to become the franchise’s player would amount to nothing more than a pipe dream?

“It’s not about being the guy,” World Peace said. “It’s about clicking. Dwight never wanted to be the guy. Dwight did have some flaws just like anybody. Everybody has flaws. But Dwight just wanted to be comfortable. He wasn’t comfortable [here]. But once that happened [with Bryant's comments], I knew Dwight wasn’t coming back. I knew he wasn’t going to come back.”

Does World Peace believe Howard made the right decision?

“He wants to win,” World Peace said. “With [James] Harden and those young boys, he has a chance to ride out the wave and wait for these old boys to get old. Right now, Houston has a good shot to win now. The Lakers are broken up and at some point in time, the young veterans will beat the old veterans. Our team needed to have chemistry right away. We should’ve because we’re all vets. It’s a shame that we didn’t.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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  • Cali310

    Doesn’t matter LA should be happy that dwight didn’t want to stay he only really has maybe 2 seasons before he starts declining he’s not a leader he never has been never would be and keeping him would mean they really wouldn’t have that many options in the summer of 2014 the rockets won’t win a championship anytime soon

    • Hunter Chase

      You are such an ignorant person. he is the best center in the league. And brought a crappy team to the finals ohhh but hes not a leader? truth is nobody will want to go to LA because kobe is not someone everybody wants to play with unlike lebron.

      • Ron

        Trouble is that fellow NBA players are not nearly as enamored of Bryant as his “fan boy cult” is. If they were, there would have already been a flood of great players willing to play with him in LA. Hasn’t happened in the past and won’t happen in the future (even with cap money to spend). Lebron is a dream to play with (like Magic Johnson was). Bryant is a nightmare. Only a star who is known as the nicest guy in the NBA, Pau Gasol, can coexist with Bryant.

        • Hunter Chase

          Exactly. The only way the lakers get better is thru trades because the players dont have a choice

          • K

            The Lakers can never sign anyone because they’re always over the salary cap. That’s why the team consistently has to make trades in order to acquire talent.

        • imutau

          Kobe has just as much people in the “We Hate Kobe” club then the “Fan Boy Club.” Has any one player come out and said “We don’t want to play with Kobe”? Even Dwight (true or false) denied he left because of Kobe. Everything is speculation right now till someone comes out and says it.

          If everyone is such a Kobe hater in the NBA why does he always get invited to play for Team USA? They could have just pulled an Isaiah Thomas and said don’t invite Kobe.

          Why did Melo come out and stated it was Kobe that offered inspired words when he was hurt.

          Paul George also recently admitted it would be hard to say no to Kobe and LA.

          As far as making the play offs Kobe had just as much if not more to do with it than D12 did. On defense and rebounds he’s a monster no doubt. But if one cannot get the orange ball in the hoop one will lose. The ball NOT going to D12 on the inside had more to do with his inability to make free throws and making defenses pay for Hack-A-Howard then Kobe hogging the ball. If he could make his damned F/Ts no one would foul him and you would see those easy dunks. But he couldn’t so defenses took the high percentage play and just fouled him.

          Everyone likes to forget that Kobe averaged 6 assists for the season putting him almost in the top 20 for assists and he only played 78 of 82 games due to injury.

          Don’t trip. Players didn’t come to LA because there wasn’t any money. Howard left because he couldn’t get management to do what he wanted (fire D’Antoni). Same thing that happened in Orlando.

          • Hunter Chase

            Ok first of all show me some sources because i guarantee you 99% of what you said is bullshit. Howard averaged 18 and 12 the best of any big men. HE WAS HURT THE WHOLE SESON AND STILL PLAYED THRU! HE avereged 22 14 when healthy. that is numbers similiar to hakeem. He wanted to get phil jackson because Dantoni is an idiot. And kobe played for the US team because 1) he is the top 3 scorers of all time and 2nd he is wanting to make his LEGACY better. KOBE wants to make himeself better. he never makes his team better. Everyones numbers go down when they play with kobe. I am tired of people worshiping this guy. Do people forget he raped his wife? HE is not a good person. Kobe is done. Dwight will win many ships in houston because houston is a franchise who actually cares about there players and will do what it takes to make them happy. And also i forgot kobe is so self centered that he wont even take a pay cut to help bring players in? howard did

  • Guest

    Quoting MWP: “With [James] Harden and those young boys,[Howard] has a chance to ride out the wave and wait for these old boys to get old.”

    So Howard doesn’t want to play second fiddle to a man who will play no more than four more years and bolts to a team to play second fiddle to a man who has at least ten years left in his game?