On January 6, it was revealed that Dwight Howard would be participating in the NBA Dunk Contest which will take place during the NBA All-Star weekend in February 2020. According to NBA reports, Howard wants Lakers legend Kobe Bryant to help him with the NBA Dunk Contest. However, Bryant's participation has not yet been confirmed itself. Along with Bryant, Hawks' Trae Young wanted NBA veteran Vince Carter to participate in the NBA Dunk Contest as well. However, Carter is not interested to take part in the contest.
Dwight Howard has played in the NBA dunk contest three times in his career and has won once. Howard last participated in the contest in 2009. Howard had won the NBA Dunk Contest in 2008, while he was wearing a Superman cape. He is currently shooting a career-high 73.8% from the ground. During an ESPN interview, his current teammate Anthony Davis said that he would love to help Howard in any way he can, although his own participation is unlikely.
Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant share a history which goes back to 2012. Bryant was LA Lakers' key player when they picked up Howard during a four-team trade. However, Howard departed to Houston Rockets via free agency after one season with the Lakers. NBA reports talked about the tension between the two while Howard was on the team. The situation escalated when Kobe allegedly called Howard 'soft' when they clashed at the Staples Center. In an interview with a sports channel earlier this year, Howard opened up about the confrontation that took place years ago.
The first player Bryant ran into on the court was Dwight Howard, and the two shared a hug. pic.twitter.com/fhGLEqtADd— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) November 18, 2019
Dwight Howard admitted that he somewhat hated Bryant for what he said. However, he added that he did so because he misinterpreted Bryant. He thinks that Bryant must have meant Howard's 'mentality' and not his physique. Both Howard and Bryant shared a moment before the Lakers vs Hawks game in November. In a post-game interview, Howard said that there are no hard feelings between them as it happened a long time ago.