Happier Bryant steps up game

Philadelphia Enquirer: No wonder the rest of the NBA seems so ticked at Memphis general manager Chris Wallace these days.

When the best player in the league starts to really believe he can win a championship, it may not matter how much the West has loaded up.

Yes, Dallas got Jason Kidd last week, and Phoenix got Shaquille O’Neal, and San Antonio got Kurt Thomas, and New Orleans got Bonzi Wells and Mike James. But none may have the impact of Pau Gasol’s going from the Grizzlies to the Lakers. Not just because Gasol has stepped in for the injured Andrew Bynum, with seeming ease. But also because of the impact it has had on Kobe Bryant.

Was it just eight months ago that Bryant seemed to be in the midst of a nervous breakdown, demanding general manager Mitch Kupchak’s head on a pike and a one-way ticket out of town for Bynum? Now, with Gasol playing an able Robin, Bryant is Batman, averaging 28.1 points per game and emerging as the favorite to win his first league most valuable player award.

That is the backdrop to the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. If the West is the conference to beat, the Lakers look as if they are the team to beat.

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Jaime is the co-owner and Operating Director for LakerNation.com from Alhambra, CA. He's help create the official websites for Kevin Durant and Goodwin Sports. Currently, he's the Online Producer for FOX Sports Radio and AM570 KLAC.
  • http://lakers.com k0be da 1 andonly

    WE TAKIN IT ALL THE WAY THIS YEAR BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lakerz

    im happy to see kobe happy.
    but for some wierd reason i still cant see kobe resigning with us. i guess im still stuck with the off season thing, even though were like the best team in the NBA.

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    Pffft i CAN!

    Kobes a laker for LIFFE

  • Kwame Brown

    do you think I made Kobe happy???

  • Phant0M

    By being gone..

    YEAH!

  • Lakers4Life

    KOBE

  • http://getgarnett.com jonasjulienjoseph

    U SUCCCCCCCK KWAME, I WISH U THE BEST IN MEMPHIS

  • willow

    It’s scaring the rest of the league when the BEST PLAYER ON THE PLANET is happy. This can only bring sleepless nights to the coaches of the NBA. I don’t usually celebrate before the games are played on the court but I think I’m gonna start celebrating this year early. Kobe for MVP and Finals MVP!!!!

  • foxxy

    [Comment ID #27540 Will Be Quoted Here]KOBE IS A LAKER 4 LIFE!!!!

  • DCLAKER

    I’ll assure anyone who thinks Kobe leaving LA when his contract is up by saying “KOBE IS A LAKER4LIFE(NWO MUSIC PLAYS)”.