Kobe Bryant has made it clear that the culture of the Los Angeles Lakers and his personal leadership style will not change despite the presence of Dwight Howard.
"It's a matter of learning (for Howard)," Bryant said. "What I try to tell him is that it's not necessarily about what you (want), how you are as a person, or what's comfortable for you. It's really about what's going to help elevate us.
"So for us to have a team that's confrontational and on edge brings out the competitive spirit of everybody else, you know what I'm saying? If everybody is just relaxed and happy go lucky and this that and the other, then that's the personality we'll have as a team. And then you run into a team that's a confrontational team, and it's like a bus."
Bryant was asked if he still believes he can win a title with Howard.
"Yeah, for sure."
"It's a process for him," Bryant said. "He wants to be one of the greats of all time, and to do that you have to learn from the greats of all time – be it Bill Russell, be it Shaq. I mean Shaq was a moody, temperamental dude. So if you watch all the big men who have come before, you start to see a common denominator.
"Wilt (Chamberlain), God bless him, was phenomenal, but he didn't have (the same edge). Russell and (those) guys win repetitive – (Michael) Jordan, Magic (Johnson), myself. You've got a little (expletive) in you. I want (Howard) to be great, so I'm trying to push him."
Bryant insists Howard remains part of the Lakers' future.
"I don' t know what the future holds," Bryant said. "I don't know if (Howard will be traded)…But I know that as long as he's here, I'm going to continue to help him, mentor him, help him be great. That's all I can do. I'm a problem solver. I try to figure things out, come hell or high water."