Make no mistake, Lakers are still Kobe’s team. For now.


Did you really think otherwise?

Did you really doubt the Lakers were still Kobe Bryant’s team?

This was reportedly one of the reasons Dwight Howard was hesitant to come to Los Angeles — they talked last year and Kobe told Howard that the Lakers were his team, and at time Howard would be offensive option three or four. Howard was used to being the man, he didn’t want to be a guy there to defend and grab boards. But situations changed Howard (and to a lesser degree, Kobe).

When asked whose team it was at media day, Kobe tried to be diplomatic for a second. Then he spoke the truth. Via Ramona Shelburne at

“I got a question earlier about whose team this is,” Bryant said Monday at the Lakers annual media day. “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 will ride on as if I never left.”

Really, that’s as good as you’re going to get from him. It’s kind of like what coach Mike Brown said about who would take the last shot on this team — ideally Kobe, but now we have more options if the defense overloads him.

We will see how it all plays out.