Once Kobe Bryant finally calls it a career, the superstar guard will go down as one of the greatest players in NBA history. Even if Kobe decided to retire tomorrow for whatever reason, the five-time NBA champion would be considered one of the best players to have ever played the game and in the conversation for the greatest of all-time.
After the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard over the summer, no one was more pleased than Bryant with the team pulling out all the stops to surround him with the talent needed to make a run at one or two more titles before retirement.
Unfortunately, the new-look Lakers assembled during the off-season haven’t exactly panned out as anticipated with chemistry becoming an issue and the season a disaster up to this point as a result.
With four players that have played the majority of their careers as the number one option on their teams in the past, there was bound to be chemistry issues and egos that were going to get in the way of the Lakers’ success right out of the gate. No one anticipated the Lakers taking this long to come together and put their egos aside, but that is the situation the team is facing and things might finally be starting to turn around with Kobe leading the charge in a way that comes as a surprise to many.
In the last two games, Kobe has dished out 28 assists and has been the vital piece to the puzzle in the team’s recent success. Kobe’s willingness to play as facilitator may have been what this team has been missing and Nash couldn’t be happier or more impressed by his teammate’s transformation according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin via Twitter:
Nash on Kobe: “I just can’t say how pleased I am and how impressed I am with his play and his mentality more than anything.”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 28, 2013
Although this season has been arguably the toughest of his career, Nash has been optimistic throughout the process of playing on a different team with multiple superstars after spending eight seasons with the Phoenix Suns and having won two NBA MVP awards in the process.
Nash has only played in 19 games for the Lakers thus far after missing 25 games due to a leg fracture suffered in the second game of the season. Nash’s numbers aren’t as impressive as they were in years past with the Suns, but the veteran point guard is starting to come around averaging 11.2 points and 8.3 assists per game.
With Kobe taking a different approach to the game, Nash has been relieved of a lot of pressure running the point guard position with Kobe’s impressive all-around performances sparking the team on both ends of the floor. If the trend continues, Nash will continue to come around with his numbers almost certainly set to improve.