After a devastating loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night at the Staples Center, there was a lot of doubt shed on the Los Angeles Lakers and whether or not they’d be able to contend for an NBA title this season. Not only was the team’s title contention put into question, but the Lakers’ ability to compete with a team like the Thunder in the playoffs has also been perceived to be doubtful.
Shortly after the loss to the Thunder, Kobe was asked about the team’s NBA title hopes this season via Fran Blinebury of NBA.com:
“Anybody who counts us out is challenged,” Bryant said. “They’re mentally challenged. Am I happy with how we play every single night? Of course not. But I’m content with where we are overall and where I think we can go.
“Let them doubt all they want. That’s the way it always is. People talk and doubt and criticize all the way up until you win a championship, then it’s: ‘Oh, I knew it all the time.’ That’s just how it is.”
As expected, Kobe Bryant is standing up for his team through their current funk and claiming that there are no way the Lakers should be counted out come playoff time. It would be hard to argue that Kobe doesn’t have a point here as this team can be quite resilient when need be.
Obviously, the first thing everyone thinks about is the collapse in the playoffs last season. With the eventual NBA champion Dallas Mavericks sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers when no one expected it, Lakers fans got extremely nervous about the future in Lakerland and for good reason.
Needless to say, when this team is firing on all cylinders and Kobe is back to MVP form, the Lakers are as tough to beat as any team in the league. Consistency has been a big problem this season, especially on the road, but come playoff time this team might be able to come together and make one more run at a NBA title in the Kobe Bryant era.