During an interview with ESPN earlier this year, Dwight Howard had some very insightful answers when he was asked about his fractured relationship with Kobe Bryant. He talked at length about why he felt he couldn’t coexist with Kobe during their time together on the Lakers. But it sounds like Howard has had enough of discussing what happened in the past when it comes to Kobe.

On Wednesday night, Howard and the Hawks will play the Lakers for the first time this season, so it will mark the first time Howard has played a game against the Lakers in the post-Kobe era. You might think that would make things weird for Howard, given what happened between the two stars. But when he was asked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution if it will be strange to see the Lakers without Kobe when they take the court, Howard said, "Not really." And when he was pressed further for comment on what it might be like to look at the Lakers and not see Kobe, he refused to take the bait. "Let Kobe retire in peace," he said.

This was a pretty diplomatic response from Howard. If Kobe was still playing now and he was asked about Howard, history tells us he would have been more than happy to say whatever was on his mind with regards to his former teammate. But then again, Howard doesn’t really have anything to gain by talking about what it’ll be like to play against the Lakers without Kobe, so it’s hard to blame him for turning down the chance to speak on it. Not that that will make it any less weird when the game tips off on Wednesday night.