First of all, no player has ever been my hero more than Magic Johnson. I have to give credit to the man, who made every single game a joy to watch. In his era, Magic was like Mozart in sneakers... and at that time in the NBA, a blowout was allowed to happen..those Lakers were so much better than 95% of the league, it was like watching a grown man arm wrestle a bunch of third graders, but with style points added.
The game is different now. We can all see that. The games are manicured to come down to a flurry of time outs, a cash cow of commercials framing a series of free throws. Garbage time has been recycled into something far more green, namely CASH!. Any team with a 20 point lead in the first third of the game can expect a series of cheesy foul calls..... being too successful too early means your stars get in foul trouble unless you unload your bench....and the bench players get called for the foul of being bench players. The refrigerator door has a safety latch on it now for all the league's children to escape from being suffocated by sheer Laker dominance.
This Laker team, in my opinion, as it stands now, is deeper, more athletic, more talented top to bottom, than any team ever assembled on a basketball court, short of an All Star team, or the Dream Team. Offensively, Defensively, and on sheer entertainment value, this team is IT.
The great thing about Kobe is, it's never enough. Thank god. The man is obsessed with basketball, obsessed with legacy, obsessed with the mantle of greatness. MJ was light years ahead of his generation in terms of sheer acrobatic elegance, but Kobe has every bit as much fire as MJ. Kobe is the kind of player that has family members calling each other on the phone saying...are you watching this... did you see that third quarter, did you see that finish, did you see that greatness. Where were you when Kobe scored 81... the perfect game of basketball.
With 2 of the leagues best 5 big men in Gasol and Bynum. With Kobe as the leagues most fearless closer. With the veterans, the talent, the young athletes, and 5 new hungry players who are all either talented, experienced, or both... name one Laker team, or any team that is better than this Laker team as it stands now. Name One.