Breaking Down How Dwight Howard and Steve Nash Will Propel Kobe Bryant’s Legacy

Kobe Bryant has a strong legacy going into his 17th season. He's won five titles, a season MVP award and two NBA Finals MVP awards. Kobe's fifth in NBA history in scoring. He's won two scoring titles and scored 2,000 points seven times. Still, his legacy is incomplete.

With Michael Jordan edifiers refusing to believe that Kobe could be better than Michael Jordan—especially when Kobe has yet to amount the accolades Jordan has—Kobe has needed help completing his legacy.

Fortunately for Kobe, he's received help through the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.

Essentially, Kobe's legacy is furthered in two ways by the arrivals of Nash and Howard.

First, Kobe now has a greater chance of tying and perhaps surpassing Jordan's championship total. With the combination of Kobe, Howard, Nash and Pau Gasol, the Lakers have a great chance of winning a title this year. That would give Kobe his sixth ring, tying Jordan.

Winning the seventh ring would depend to a degree on whether Howard wants to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard might leave that decision until later.

To win a seventh ring without Howard, Kobe would have to work a little harder. He'd have to push himself a little more to stay in tune at age 35. Also, he'd have to motivate Gasol to keep it going and Jodie Meeks to take his game to the next level to replace some lost scoring.

Second, Kobe has the opportunity to retool his game to sustain himself in his late playing years. Playing with Nash gives Kobe to opportunity to expand his playmaking repertoire. While Kobe can still take some chances breaking guys down in isolation, he doesn't have to do it as much.

With a supreme ball-handler in Nash controlling the ball a little more, Kobe can work on making plays off the ball. The lifelong Laker can play off his man on the wing.

He can use a variety of cuts and moves to bring the ball to ...

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