5 Reasons Why Kobe Bryant Isn’t Ready to Pass the Torch to Andrew Bynum

Over the first two games of the 2012 NBA playoffs, a handful of captivating storylines have begun to unfold. From Russell Westbrook being the most consistent player of the Oklahoma City Thunder's young trio, to Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers coming back from 24 points down in the fourth quarter, controversy has been at a premium.

But, of course, no one breeds controversy like that other L.A. team: the Lakers.

In Game 1 of Los Angeles' series with the Denver Nuggets, center Andrew Bynum recorded a triple-double the hard way, as he scored 10 points, hauled in 13 rebounds and tied a playoff record with 10 blocks. Game 2 offered very little to complain about, as he followed that historic performance with 27 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

The Game 1 triple-double was the first for the franchise since Magic Johnson recorded one in 1991 (from CBS News). Not to be outdone by his young counterpart, however, Kobe Bryant was rather magnificent himself.

After struggling to score in the first half, Kobe Bryant was dominant in the third and fourth quarters, taking over his familiar role as closer. Bryant scored 23 of his 31 points in the second half and helped the Lakers control the pace for the victory in Game 1.

He outdid himself in Game 2, going off for 38 points while the rest of the Lakers struggled to put anything in the hoop.

The question has begun to make its rounds, however, about whose team the Lakers truly are. Even those who believe it is Kobe's have a final request that The Black Mamba turn over the reins to young Andrew Bynum.

It's a move that should not and will not happen. Here are five reasons why.

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