This offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired two-time MVP Steve Nash and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. In turn, many speculated as to the ramifications these moves would have on the mental makeup of the team.
Specifically, every fan appears inclined to ask and answer: Whose team are the Los Angeles Lakers?
Kobe Bryant ended all speculation when he told ESPN Los Angeles that the Lakers are in fact "his team." Just don't think that he plans on sitting idly by and allowing the next generation to falter.
Said Bryant at the recent Lakers media day:
I got a question earlier about whose team this is. 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 can ride on as if I never left.
Considering Kobe has won more NBA titles than Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace combined, we'll put any arguments off until further notice.
As for D-12, who many believe to be the best big man in the NBA, he has no issue accepting this secondary role. In one of the most underreported stories of the preseason, which likely comes as a result of the media's desire to crucify Kobe Bryant, D-12 embraced such a position (via ESPN link above):
I'm willing to go through that process, learn from one of the greatest to ever play the game and I think it will be great. I think learning from a guy like Kobe, I know he's going to be tough on me but I expect that and I want him to do that. So, I'll take all the heat that he's going to give me because I know at the end of the day that's going to make me a better player and a better person and it's going to make this team better.
No qualms from the players, so why question it as fans?