Sure, there are many proven and elite players that have been successful in the league for years, but no one in the past decade has been more consistent at winning games, and especially winning championships, than Bryant.
In a league stacked with big names like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and even Dwight Howard, Kobe has effectively marked his legacy as one of the greatest winners the game has ever seen.
Under the helm of Phil Jackson, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, coaches of all time, Kobe has finished the season as world champion an unprecedented five times — with an outstanding supporting cast lending their help along the way.
Shaquille O'Neal, who retired after last year's playoffs were completed, played a crucial role in helping Bryant and the Lakers take home three straight championships from 2000 to 2002.
And while the two superstars weren't always the best of friends off the court, O'Neal couldn't help but admire Kobe's game and legacy, considering him, in O'Neal's mind, "the greatest Laker of all time."
Although much is unclear about the upcoming and shortened NBA season, one aspect of the offseason remains clear: Bryant is anxious to get back at adding accolades to his career.
The following are the six reasons that Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy at the end of the 2011-12 NBA season: