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The Credits: "Ides Of March"

Kobe Bryant wants a trade, now. And he's got before the 15th of March to make it happen. For Kobe, these next couple years are going to be his last chances to surpass Michael Jordan in rings. And we know he's all about winning, according to assistant Chuck Person:

Kobe is lethal to the 10th power. This guy has an unending thirst for winning, and he shows it in practice every day -- when he's able to.

With the Lakers struggling against good teams this year, Kobe is ready to pull the trigger. He's desperate to improve the team. He's desperate for Dwight Howard. How desperate?

Kobe Bryant has had at least one in-depth phone conversation with Howard recently, even discussing how Howard might fit in with the Lakers' scheme.

One person with knowledge of the conversation said Howard came away feeling as if he wouldn't be the Lakers' top option, for obvious reasons. It's Bryant's team.

Kobe has always been active when it comes to potential additions to the team. Now he has to prove to Dwight that teaming up with him will get him a ring. He's shown he can still score, giving 4 straight games of 40+ points. Now he's proving a big man can flourish next him, dishing 7 assists and Gasol scoring 26 points.

Tonight's matchup against the Magic will prove to be monumental. Is this an audition of sorts? Of the Laker system for Dwight? Of Bynum to the Magic?

"It’s going to be fun,’’ Bynum said. "I don’t really think it’s that big of a matchup. It’s just a regular season game for me. I want to go out and play hard, and I’m going to try to score, and I’m sure he is, too. … Everybody else is saying (it’s a big matchup between the two), but not me. I’m just going to play my game.’’

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