The Los Angeles Lakers Look to Repeat

By Herman Solomon

The NBA season has just about arrived, and the Los Angeles Lakers are the definite favorite entering the season. Why, you might ask?

Kobe Bryant proved that the Los Angeles Lakers didn't need Shaquille O'Neal to win an NBA title. He did have the help of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom (two big men), but they're not Shaquille O'Neal in his prime.

He also proved that he would win the next championship before LeBron James would, quieting critics who point out LeBron's superiority with respect to that rivalry. And what a great rivalry this is!

Much of the Lakers' success last year should be attributed to a lot more than just Kobe himself. This was a team effort through and through.

Ron Artest, having come to LA by way of Houston, is one of the great defenders in the game of basketball, and a strong force on offense too. He's said to be responsible for much of Houston's success during the past two seasons, and his presence in LA bolsters an already strong roster. His veteran experience should feed well into the culture in Los Angeles, and many believe that the Lakers should run away from the competition this season.

After a wildly successful season, one has to wonder if the Lakers can do this again. Kobe Bryant will turn 32 this season, still young enough to play some very effective basketball.

Still, other teams in the league have steadily improved over the past few years, and some like Orlando, Cleveland, San Antonio, and Boston have all made worthy acquisitions too.

Having said that, I'd peg the Lakers as the favorite but wouldn't expect them to dominate. It's definitely up for grabs, but Artest makes this powerhouse even stronger. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do with Kobe. - 31494

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