Forget Dwight Howard's visit to Kobe Bryant's home after Bryant tore his Achilles' tendon. Never mind Bryant's in-person plea to Howard to remain with the Lakers.
When all was said and done, the superstars who tensely coexisted last season and seemed to be turning a corner in their relationship apparently didn't have much of a connection at all.
In his first game in Los Angeles since leaving the Lakers to play for the Houston Rockets, Howard said he still talks to a lot of his former teammates.
"Me and Jodie [Meeks] and Jordan [Hill] and [Robert] Sacre, we have a great relationship, so we talk a lot and I'm looking forward to seeing those guys," Howard said after the Rockets fell to the Clippers, 137-118, on Monday.
What about Bryant? Do you still talk to him?
"No," Howard said.
Bryant unfollowed Howard on Twitter when the three-time defensive player of the year decided not to return to play for the 16-time NBA champions, a move that Bryant clearly took as a slight.
On Thursday, Howard will play against his former team for the first time. Let's just say he wasn't exactly spilling over with emotion.
"It's another game," he said.
Howard said he hasn't looked back since deciding to leave Los Angeles. In fact, when a reporter asked him if the Lakers could have done anything differently to keep him, Howard seemed a bit frustrated.
"Listen, it's over with man," he said. "Like I'm already out of there. There's no reason to talk about what the Lakers could have did. I made my decision and I'm living with it. I'm happy with where I'm at. I'm in a great place.
"I think everybody should move forward. It's over with. This is my life, you know what I'm saying. If you don't like it, so what."
Howard said he learned a lot from last season -- mostly about what not to do.
"Not to allow whatever's being said to affect who I am as a person," he said. "To continue to lead this team despite whatever's going on from the outside.
"I just allowed what people said to affect how I play. I can't do that, I'm better than that."
When asked what's the biggest difference between this year and last season, Howard didn't hesitate.
"I'm happy," he said.
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