Kobe Bryant Is Not the Key To an LA Lakers Three-Peat

Kobe Bryant's resume reads as follows: Five world championships, two finals Most Valuable Player awards, one regular season MVP award, a twelve-time NBA All-Star, two time scoring champion, and a fourteen time All-NBA team player.

Bryant turns 32 this season and for the first time in two years is no longer the clear cut favorite to win the NBA Championship, now that a super trio has formed in the Eastern Conference. 

After LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined forces with Dwayne Wade and GM Pat Riley has appropriately filled the roster with solid role players, Miami looks to be the favorite. 

But you certainly can't count out the West Conference's most dominant team, as the Lakers do happen to have arguably the league's best player.

He's also a rested player: Bryant took the summer off to have surgery on his knee and rest his now arthritic finger after playing non-stop since 2008. 

It's also safe to say that even though Bryant may be a half a step slower, he'll probably come back even better next season. 

Bryant is the type of player who would've been in the gym, working, adding and improving his game while James was making his nationally televised "Decision." He already is one of the most (if not the most) complete offensive player in the game today. 

However even with Bryant putting in all that extra work in the gym and weight room, he isn't the key for a Laker three peat this season. 

The Lakers upgraded their bench significantly after resigning Bryant's understudy Shannon Brown and bringing in Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff. 

Lamar Odom and Ratliff will highlight the second unit's front court. We all know how Odom—who is as talented as anyone in the league—is maddeningly inconsistent, but Ratliff is a seasoned veteran and will provide quality minutes for the injury plagued Andrew Bynum. 

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers