Kobe Bryant recently told the media that he personally guarantees that the Los Angeles Lakers will make the playoffs, despite the team underachieving practically throughout the whole season.
Last night Kobe backed up his statement, as he carried the Lakers past the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring 40 points on 15-23 shooting from the field, while also adding 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
According to an ESPN report, Steve Nash, Mike D’Antoni, Dwight Howard and the rest of the team also have the same expectations, although guarantees is not something that the head coach of the Lakers is willing to throw around:
“He has a lot to say about it, so that’s good,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t mind as long as we back it up. I don’t mind at all. I think you have to have that mindset and I think everybody does. I’m not a guarantee kind of guy, but I’ll let him do the talking since he’s got to do the walking. Kobe’s good enough. I’m with him all the way.” – Mike D’Antoni
Making a guarantee that this year’s Lakers are a lock in the playoffs might seem mad, but it is a sign of great leadership on Kobe’s part and could definitely spark a positive run. The season has been filled with a lot of injuries and inconsistency.
If the Lakers are to make the playoffs this year, they most likely have to do so without Pau Gasol, who is out with injury. If the team does make the playoffs, there is a chance that the Spanish power forward/center could still help his team this season.
Lakers are currently 3.5 games behind the Houston Rockets, who are the eighth seed in the Western Conference.