When Bryant and Howard hung up on a pre-trade deadline call a year ago, the suspicions of a toxic mix were confirmed with a most uncomfortable conversation. They had different visions on the way Howard would fit into the Lakers, which promised to compound the gulf between them as people. They were going to win with the Lakers and tolerate each other; or lose and develop a deep disdain.
On his way out of the Garden, out of a humiliating 116-95 loss to the Boston Celtics, Bryant returned a clichéd question – "Are Dwight and you on the same page?" – without a clichéd response.
With a bemused face and a shrug, Bryant told Yahoo! Sports: "What page is there to be on? Defend. Rebound…"
He shrugged again.
"I mean, what else is on the page?"