Dwight Howard: L.A. exit 'for myself'

Dwight Howard said Tuesday that Kobe Bryant's presence with the Los Angeles Lakers had nothing to do with his decision to leave the team and sign with the Houston Rockets last year.

"I didn't leave L.A. because I was afraid of Kobe Bryant," Howard said Tuesday, according to the Houston Chronicle. "I went to a good situation for myself. I can't change people's opinions, but I did what I had to do for myself."

The Lakers host the Rockets on Tuesday night at Staples Center in the regular-season opener for both teams.

Howard's comments came a day after new Lakers coach Byron Scott theorized that Howard and Bryant didn't mesh in Los Angeles since Howard didn't have Bryant's same drive to win championships.

"My outside perspective is Kobe is a real serious guy and wants to win championships," Scott said Monday. "I don't know if Dwight is that serious about it. I know No. 24 is. I think that probably was the clash."

Howard told reporters he had "no response" to Scott's comments.

"It's over with now. There's no need to continue to talk about it. It happened. We played together for a year," Howard said of his time in L.A. with Bryant, according to the Chronicle. "The whole team was injured, didn't really get an opportunity to do what we all set out to do.

"Things happen. Life happens. I think everybody needs to move forward from the situation and worry about their respective teams."

ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes contributed to this report.