Kobe Bryant is entering his 16th NBA season. He’s won a slew of championships and has played with numerous Hall of Famers (including Shaq at the very height of his powers). Yesterday at Lakers Media Day, Kobe claimed that his current Lakers squad – on paper at least – is the most talented cast he’s ever played with in L.A.
Maybe. Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are pretty significant sidekicks, and guys like Antawn Jamison and (occasionally) Ron Artest are formidable secondary teammates. But really, is this team more talented than Lakers teams of the past 16 years? With Nash and Pau on the back sides of their careers and with Dwight’s dealing back issues, it’s not so clear cut.
Let’s take a look at Kobe’s previous teams – some of them are loaded with talent (the ’96-’97 squad was ridiculous). The contenders:
Kobe Bryant (7.6 ppg)
Eddie Jones (17.2 ppg)
Nick Van Exel (15.3 ppg, 8.5 apg)
Elden Campbell (15 ppg, 8 rpg)
Cedric Ceballos (14 ppg)
Shaq (26 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2.9 bpg)