By Matt Hammond, Sports Radio 610By Matt Hammond

It won’t be the first time Dwight Howard has played at the Staples Center since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, but nevertheless, for tomorrow night’s regular season opener, Howard will go back to a place he once left rather notably.

Howard on Monday wasn’t interested in talking about the story line.

“I’m a Rocket,” Howard said with a grin. “That’s all that matters.”

Even if Howard twice played there last season, Henry Abott’s story in ESPN The Magazine last week detailing how Kobe Bryant’s imposing personality has reportedly hurt the Lakers in free agency and the trade market, and president Jeanie Buss’ reaction, that any free agent or trade target who wouldn’t play for the Lakers because of Bryant is “a loser” and not someone she wants, present a new undercurrent.

It will be a long season for a team with its eyes on an NBA title, but tomorrow night should have some zing, even it’s only game 1 of 82.

Hear Matt weekends on Sports Radio 610

Follow him on Twitter @MattHammondShow

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