Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Will Dwight Howard Be Traded Before The Deadline? Kobe Bryant Says, 'It Doesn't Matter'

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Feb 19, 2013 09:04 AM EST
Dwight Howard
Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) looks back at a referee after being called for an offensive foul while playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, California January 27, 2013.
(Photo : Reuters) "

With the conclusion of the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend, it's time for the stars to return to their respective teams in order to prepare for the grueling second half of the season.

With all the drama and trade rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers this season, All-Star Kobe Bryant is more concerned about the team and says "it doesn't matter" what the franchise decides to do with about the "Dwightmare" surrounding six-time All-Star center Dwight Howard.

"I don't know what they are going to do," Bryant said Sunday at Toyota Center after helping the West defeat the East, 143-138, in the All-Star game. "But at this point ... , it doesn't matter. what matters to us is what we do on Wednesday [against the Boston Celtics] and go from there.

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"That's the most important thing. That's my message to the team is that you can't worry about the future, you can't worry about the past, you just have to focus on the present and we really have to maximize every single game."

Howard, who hasn't lived up to season expectations as of late, said Friday that Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak had told him he would remain with the team through Thursday's trade deadline.

Still, that hasn't prevented a recent rumor that Howard expects to play in Brooklyn next season with the Nets, as reported by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

It is believed that Howard is unhappy with the offensive system placed with the Lakers, and as frustration builds, the Lakers are taking a big gamble on keeping him with the hopes that he'll return this off season as a free agent.

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