Los Angeles Lakers superstars Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard almost got into a fight after the team lost on New Year’s Day to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The New York Daily News reports Howard had to be restrained from going after Bryant after Bryant Bryant referenced and agreed with former teammate and NBA analyst Shaquille O’neal’s comments that Howard was “soft.”
Bryant has feuded in the past with Lakers centers like O’Neal and, most recently, Andrew Bynum.
Sports Illustrated reports Lakers sources, though, denied the altercation occurred.
Howard, who is set to be a free agent at the end of this year, has recently criticized the team and has taken veiled swipes at Bryant’s selfishness with the basketball after the Lakers’ recent loss to the Clippers.
NBA analysts wondered when Howard was traded to the Lakers before the start of the season whether Howard’s often lackadaisical attitude and demeanor would go well and mesh with the intense and serious Bryant.
The Lakers, one of the preseason favorites to contend for the title, are reeling with a 15-18 record, which often exacerbates tensions.