Howard originally planned to have Bryant bring him the cape, after which he would've revealed the No. 24 to his former teammate, according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. Instead, Jameer Nelson assisted him.
"That was gonna be a lot of fun," Howard said. "I was gonna dedicate it to him, but everything happens for a reason."
Howard hoped to incorporate more Kobe tributes into the contest but was eliminated after the first round.
"I didn't really get a chance to do everything I wanted to do to tribute to Kobe and the Lakers," he said. "But this season, the rest of our career, we're gonna make sure that we represent the purple and gold the right way. We know Kobe's watching over us, and we're just grateful and thankful that he gave us some great knowledge and we're very appreciative for the time that we've to spend with Kobe Bryant."