LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant certainly was not eager to hide his feelings about former teammate Dwight Howard's departure from Staples Center, claiming he 'really doesn't give a s***' about his move to the Houston Rockets.
27-year-old Howard, the former Orlando Magic man who is a seven-time NBA All-Star, became embroiled in yet another protracted saga over the summer as he refused to commit his immediate future to the Lakers organisation.
The subject of Howard's future dominated the headlines following the climax of an eventful 2012/13 season, with the 27-year-old eventually opting to join the Houston Rockets after just one troubled season in the famous purple and gold.
That decision finally came after a lengthy process during which Howard met with sizeable delegations from the Rockets, his hometown Atlanta Hawks, the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and the Lakers themselves.
On the well-publicised subject of Howard's departure, however, Bryant, a Lakers stalwart who has never played for another NBA team, claims he is not bothered by it.
“Honestly, man, I really don’t give a s***,” Bryant was quoted by Sports Illustrated. “It is what it is. If he came back, it would’ve been great. If he didn’t, he’s not. So it is what it is.”
The Lakers will be hoping to bounce back from Howard's defection after a troubled season last time out which saw them only just make the playoffs before being emphatically dispatched in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs by Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs.
35-year-old Bryant who retains much of his undoubted star quality despite being frustratingly blighted by a succession of injury woes of late, is currently recovering from a torn achilles tendon and he has not set a definite timetable for his return to the court.