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Let the passive-aggressive games begin!
Almost immediately after NBA star Dwight Howard announced he was leaving the Los Angeles Lakers for the Houston Rockets, two of his ex-teammates made their displeasure known in perhaps the quietest (but still public) way possible.
Both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol unfollowed him on Twitter. (Gasol has since refollowed Howard.)
Howard technically fired the first shot, changing his profile picture to himself sporting a Rockets jersey. Several minutes later, he tweeted his official goodbye to Lakers fans:
“I’ve decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets. I feel it’s the best place for me and I am excited about joining the Rockets and I’m looking forward to a great season. I want to thank the fans in Los Angeles and wish them the best.”
Shortly after, Bryant posted a picture to Instagram of Gasol holding Bryant’s head, along with the words “#vamos #juntos #lakercorazon #vino.”
The first three roughly translate as “let’s go,” “together,” and “Laker heart,” while vino is what Bryant took to calling himself after a friend gave him the nickname in February.
Sports observers relished the Instagram post, with ESPN’s Darren Rovell tweeting “It Just Got Real” and reporting at 8:26 p.m. PST Gasol had unfollowed Howard, then recanting 20 minutes later, tweeting “Looks like @PauGasol is back to following @DwightHoward. That’s it. I’m calling it a night.”
Reaction from notable L.A. tweeters was scathing in some corners, with Entourage creator Doug Ellin writing: “I guess Dwight goes down as biggest bust in lakers history. And I guess lakers start 2014 as the worst team in then western conference.” Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence tweeted: “Very excited to hear where Dwight Howard plans to be uninspired and not ever win a title next.”
According to USA Today, which first reported the news of Howard’s departure, the player will earn $88 million for four seasons with the Rockets.
Howard joined the Lakers last August, and the franchise struggled during his time with the team, making the playoffs as the seventh seed only to lose to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
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