Kobe Bryant Guarantees the L.A. Lakers Will Win the Title Next Year

During a recent leg of his Nike Asia Tour in China, Kobe Bryant met with fans, signed autographs and even coached a handful of lucky tournament participants during one-on-one sessions.  A typical meet-and-greet agenda.  

But what's catching the eye of Lakers fans across the globe was Kobe's own proclamation during a public rally in China:

"With all the fans here, and all the support that we have, we're gonna win it next year."

This is what a team's star player is supposed to say.  This is what we've become accustomed to hearing from the Lakers superstar.  No big deal, right?  Why should a comment like this, from one of the sport's most confident players, grab headlines?  

Because this seemingly benign declaration should finally assure Laker fans that yes, despite all the gossip ballied about this offseason regarding the need to "blow up" the core of the Lakers roster or Kobe's displeasure with the Lakers hiring of new head coach Mike Brown, Kobe Bryant is in fact on board with the currently constructed Lakers roster and ready to go to war next season.

The Lakers' early exit from the 2011 NBA Playoffs fueled the speculative fire that created a whirlwind of trade rumors and scenarios this offseason proposing a drastic dismantling of the Lakers roster.  The speculation got so out of hand that folks were even discussing trades that sent Pau Gasol to Minnesota for the No. 2 pick (Any Laker fan even entertaining such an irresponsible move should turn in his or her card. Immediately.).

Read between the lines, and Kobe says he's ready to win the title.  Again.  With the current set of Lakers.  Sure, Bryant would not be opposed, nor would most of Laker nation be opposed, to upgrading at the PG position, adding a few athletic pieces or even landing a Dwight Howard or Andre Igoudala without compromising the Lakers' core.  

But the talk of "blowin...

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