Many things have changed since the Lakers played a NBA game. Andrew Bynum is gone. Steve Nash and Dwight Howard are now Lakers. And we all watched Kobe Bryant play a toned down brand of basketball in the Olympics that allowed LeBron James to be the focal point.
So with all those changes and Bryant’s willingness to play second fiddle, one began to wonder who would be the focal point of this new Lakers team. Would it be Dwight? Would it be Nash? Or would Kobe continue to be the man in Los Angeles?
It didn’t take long for the question to be answered because the minute Kobe sat down with reporters at the Lakers media day, he informed everyone listening that the Lakers are still his team.
“I got a question earlier about whose team this is,” Bryant said Monday at the Lakers annual media day. “I don’t want to get into the, ‘Well, we share …’
“No, it’s my team. But I want to make sure that Dwight, when I retire, this is going to be his. I want to teach him everything I possibly know so that when I step away, this organization will ride on as if I never left.”
And from there Howard and Nash fall in line.
“Learning from Kobe, I think this is something that I need for myself so I can grow as a player and as a person,” Howard said on Monday. “He’s been through almost every single situation possible on the court and off the court, and I think he can really help me out a lot.”
“This is undoubtedly Kobe’s team,” Nash said. “He’s been here his whole career. He’s won championships. And he’s the best player on the team.”
Was there really any doubt whose team this is?