- The Lakers have done everything Kobe has asked them to do, starting with shipping Shaq out of town and making the Lakers, "Kobe's team".
- Through smart drafting (i.e. Andrew Bynum #10 overall in 2005, Jordan Farmar #26 in 2006, Sasa Vujacic #27 in 2004); smart trades (for Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol); key free agents (Ron Artest), the Lakers have built a winner around Kobe. Ok, it took 4 years and a lot of hollering from Kobe, but I think it was done pretty quickly.
- Kobe finally got his first post-Shaq ring. He no longer has to hear the "you can't win one without Shaq" chant which in his own words was becoming "annoying".
- No other NBA team is going to accommodate Kobe the way the Lakers have. At this point in his career it makes no sense to start from scratch elsewhere.
- And last but not least, Ron Artest needs a ring. C'mon Kobe, do it for Ron. You heard him at his press conference when he came on board, "I need a ring, man! I need a ring." Just keep an eye on him and make sure he's not boozing during half-time and you should be able to win a few rings with Ron by your side.
Anyway, the Lakers look mighty good for years to come. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Kobe signs at least a 4-year extension with the team I like to refer to as, "The Other Empire".
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Stats courtesy of Wikipedia