With the Los Angeles Lakers' training camp set to open October 2, there is a lot of hype surrounding the new-look Lakers.
And with good reason.
There are a lot of expectations heading into the 2012-2013 season for Lakers fans, as anything short of a title run will be a disappointment.
With the blockbuster offseason the Lakers had, it's easy to see why they are one of the favorites heading into the season.
Here are a few reasons why the Black Mamba will win his sixth championship, and why the Lakers are primed to be champions in the 2012-2013 season.
One of the Lakers' biggest weaknesses last season was their bench play.
They've addressed that issue by adding veteran Antawn Jamison to their roster.
Jamison, who has averaged 19.5 points and 7.9 rebounds throughout his career, is a huge addition to this roster.
Not only does he add much-needed depth to this roster, he brings a veteran to this roster who has had 14 years of NBA experience under his belt.
The Lakers also added youth to their bench by adding Jodie Meeks, who averaged 8.4 points per game last season with the 76ers.
With just Jamison and Meeks added to this Lakers bench, they become significantly better, as they have players who can score and contribute to give the Laker starters time to rest—something that they could not do last season.
With Jamison coming off a sixth-man role and an upgraded bench, the Lakers have more depth than last year—something that will be essential come playoff time.
It was the summer of the "Dwightmare," and it seemed that Laker fans were rejoicing with their new acquisition, All-Star center Dwight Howard.
Although his back remains a lingering issue, we all know what Howard can bring to the table when healthy.
A physical presence in the paint, where the Lakers will benefit most from Howard is his ability to rebound and play tough physical defense. A player who has averaged 2.2 blocks throughout his career, Howard will be valuable in defending the paint against athletic guards such as Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams and Ty Lawson.
Let's not forget, the Lakers also added veteran point guard Steve Nash, who is quite possibly the best point guard that Kobe Bryant has played with in his career.
By adding Nash, the Lakers have a point guard who can direct an offense and also make other players around him better.
There's no question that with the monster offseason the Lakers had, they must be considered favorites to win the Larry O' Brien Trophy.
A 16-year veteran and one of the best passers in the game, Steve Nash has yet to win an NBA title in his career.
Dwight Howard, an eight-year veteran and an All-Star center, has made one trip to the NBA Finals but lost to the Lakers back in 2009.
Antawn Jamison, a 14-year veteran, has yet to win an NBA title in his career as well.
If there's one thing that can be said about this Lakers team, it is that they are hungry for a title.
It's easy to say that both Nash and Jamison have only a few years left in their NBA career, and with their surrounding pieces, there's no reason for them not to contend for a title.
Howard, Nash and Jamison have all been to the playoffs in their career, but none have won a title. You can bet that the disappointment of leaving the playoffs without a title in their careers has to kill them inside.
Not to mention, we all know the competitor that Kobe Bryant is and how hungry he is for another title as well as his quest to become one of the greatest to play the game.
The hunger that the veterans on this team possess should lead them to a title run.
Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace
One thing the Lakers possess that will help them in the playoffs is the experience on this team.
Experience cannot be taught, as you can only gain it through development in the league.
Learning from their mistakes and their loss to the Dallas Mavericks from the previous year, the Heat were able to take control and play at a more composed level to take the series, 4-1.
We all know how talented this Lakers team is, and with their playoff experience, you have to believe that they can correct mistakes from prior years to win the 2012-2013 NBA title.
Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant
With all the hype surrounding this star-studded team, the Lakers have a lot to prove this season. With four potential 2012-2013 All-Stars on the starting roster, there are high expectations for the purple and gold this season.
It's no secret that the Lakers are on a mission this year to prove that they are still an elite team that can contend for a title.
Some say that the Lakers may repeat and have a disappointing season, similar to the 2003-2004 season where a roster consisting of Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone and Gary Payton lost to the Pistons in five games.
The Lakers are out to prove that they aren't just another star-studded team that can't win it all.
They're out to show the world that they have their eyes set on a title, and anything less will surely disappoint.
With a chip on their shoulder and something to prove, you can bet the Lakers will be motivated to chase their 17th franchise title.