In an interview with Jack McCallum of Sports Illustrated published on Thursday, Kobe confidently endorsed his team's playoff hopes, saying, "It's not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone—Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver...whoever. I have zero nervousness about that."
That almost seemed like a veiled threat to the best teams in the Western Conference. Watch out now. These past few months of mediocrity have made the Black Mamba mad.
The Lakers have struggled this season, but they still find themselves in ninth place, just three-and-a-half games behind the Houston Rockets for the final spot in the playoffs.
As shown by Wednesday's victory over the Boston Celtics, this Lakers squad is capable of playing excellent basketball. Now they just need to do it on a consistent basis.
Here are the six conditions for the Lakers to get into the playoffs.