Magic Johnson said that Kobe Bryant needs to hug Dwight Howard. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
Week of Words in Laker Nation
—Magic Johnson of ESPN, Friday night on Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard: "Kobe is saying [to Dwight], 'Hey, you are coming to a team that wants to win the championship.' You must do things different than you did in Orlando.' Right now, Kobe needs to hug Dwight. A lot of pressure on him. He's not hitting his free throws. Everybody in L.A. and around the country are talking about it."
—Charles Barkley of TNT, Thursday night: "Dwight Howard is not a 30-point guy and I definitely don't think he is a 30-point guy on that team. He's playing with better players. ... The free-throw thing, I think they're going to have to address. At this point it is psychological."
—Kenny Smith of TNT, Thursday night: "Hack-a-Shaq, it was to stop Shaq. They couldn't stop him. Hack-a-Howard is a strategic thing to stop the team and him. ... It's a different mind-set."
—Reggie Miller of TNT, Friday to The Times: "[Howard] needs to take a bit of pressure off himself. He needs to stop thinking he's the savior here and start understanding he's just another piece in the puzzle that could potentially help this team win a championship."
—Miller: "I go by Kobe Rants. And there's only been a couple Kobe Rants. When Kobe gets frustrated, he starts to rant. I think he has come to terms and grips — maybe that becomes more apparent the older you get — that there's only a few more good-to-great years left in his body. He's trying to refocus these guys."