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Lakers source calls Kobe Bryant / Dwight Howard incident "simply not true"

The New York Daily News is reporting that a league "source" has told them Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard nearly came to blows after a loss to the 76ers. Lakers sources, however, maintain the claim is "simply not true".

USA TODAY Sports

Late last night a report from the New York Daily News began to circulate the internet that Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant nearly came to blows after the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant just can’t get along, and there’s a team in Brooklyn that might be waiting to pick up the pieces.

A league source told the Daily News that the Lakers stars got into a heated exchange following a New Year’s Day loss to the 76ers, and Bryant went for a low blow – referencing and agreeing with Shaquille O’Neal’s criticisms of Howard being soft.

Howard was restrained from going at his teammate, according to the source, and there have been rumblings from the center’s camp that he’s been unhappy with Bryant since earlier in the season. - Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News

ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne immediately shut this story down last night via Twitter.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Two Lakers sources have adamantly shot down the reported Dwight/Kobe incident. One said, "it's simply not true."</p>&mdash; Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) <a href="https://twitter.com/ramonashelburne/status/288225435370803200" data-datetime="2013-01-07T10:07:53+00:00">January 7, 2013</a></blockquote>
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The Lakers and 76ers played Tuesday, January 1st. This story dropped January 7th, just a day after an article regarding the Lakers' team chemistry, and "alpha males" was published over on ESPN LA from Ramona Shelburne.

Howard then explained what his definition of an "alpha male" is.

"If you're an alpha male, you don't have to always show that you're the alpha male," he said. "Just be who you are. You come in the room, people know you're there.

"My presence is felt every day, and I don't have to come here and growl and snarl at people. I don't have to do all that."

Instead, he said he tries to create a happy, enjoyable work environment. - Ramona Shelburne, ESPN LA

What's your take? Is this N.Y. Daily News story real, or is it "simply not true"?