(EL SEGUNDO, Calif.) — Whose team is it? That is the question the five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant had to answer as the Los Angeles Lakers held their media day on Monday.
The Los Angeles Lakers enter the 2012-13 season as one of the favorites to win the NBA championship after the additions off All-star guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard in the summer but questions remain if they will be able to get it together in their first year.
“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 can ride on as if I never left,” Bryant said on Monday.
Bryant also said that Nash is the quarterback of the team now and when asked about the NBA championship, he was focused on winning their first game. For Nash, he understands it will be a tough task ahead distributing the ball to Bryant, Howard, and Pau Gasol.
“From the outside it appears this is going to be a cinch . . . but it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” Nash said. “So many personalities, dominant players, trying to find that cohesion, accepting roles, sacrificing.”
As for Howard, he’ll have to decide whether or not he’ll want to stay a Laker for life after the season is over but said he’s looking forward to learning from all the talent around him.
“I’m willing to go through that process, learn from one of the greatest to ever play the game and I think it will be great,” Howard said. “I think learning from a guy like Kobe, I know he’s going to be tough on me but I expect that and I want him to do that. So, I’ll take all the heat that he’s going to give me because I know at the end of the day that’s going to make me a better player and a better person and it’s going to make this team better.”
One person not getting much attention is the fifth projected person on the court, Metta World Peace. World Peace believes everyone will be able to co-exist to reach their goal of an NBA title.
“There will be no problems because we’re like the Care Bears,” World Peace said. “We love each other, we care for each other, we’re here on this Earth as one, to love each other.”
The Lakers will start their run at the title on Oct. 7 against the Golden State Warriors in their first preseason game.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire