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Kobe Bryant focuses on present, not Dwight Howard's Lakers future

NBA All-Star weekend

At the NBA All-Star game, Bryant says 'it doesn't matter' what his team does with six-time All-Star center as the trade deadline approaches and the team needs to focus on trying to win every game.

February 17, 2013
  • Kobe Bryant smiles during the 2013 NBA All-Star game.
Kobe Bryant smiles during the 2013 NBA All-Star game. (Ronald Martinez / Getty…)

HOUSTON — Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard were here, so of course there was going to be drama.

Howard said Friday that Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak had told him he would remain with the team through Thursday's trade deadline.

On Sunday, Bryant said "it doesn't matter" what his team does with the six-time All-Star.

"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.

"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."

Hello again

Houston's James Harden was reunited with former Oklahoma City teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, if just for one game.

It sounded as if there might have been a few sniffles in the West locker room after Harden finished with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Said Durant: "Playing with him today made me miss him a little bit." Said Harden: "I miss those guys, as well."

New gear

Just when you thought the NBA had exhausted every apparel possibility, the All-Stars wore new warmup jackets that included chest patches recognizing career accomplishments such as NBA titles and most valuable player awards.

Look for your favorite player's model in a store near you.

"I wore mine proudly, I'll put it to you that way," Bryant said. "I had a little bit more on mine than everybody else. I was just very, very happy that when I looked across the locker room, Tim [Duncan] only had four trophies and I had five. That made me feel really good. I rubbed it in a little bit."

In-game entertainment

Several players sung pre-recorded versions of love songs that were played on the video scoreboard during timeouts as part of a mock Valentine's Day album.

None of them appear to be the next Ne-Yo.

The Clippers' Blake Griffin crooned a version of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." He should probably keep his day job.

Wish you were here

Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who was not selected as an All-Star reserve despite being a leading candidate for sixth man of the year, tweeted about his disappointment during halftime.

"Woulda showed up, and showed out," Crawford tweeted.

Etc.

LeBron James broke Ray Allen's record for most three-pointers in All-Star game history, making three to increase his career total to 23. … Bryant's two steals gave him 37 in All-Star competition, tying him with Michael Jordan for the most in the history of the game.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Twitter: @latbbolch

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