Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is confident that his former franchise will be the NBA's top team again in the not-too-distant future.
"They will figure it out," Bryant said of the Lakers, via ESPN. "They have talented pieces and (Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka) has put them in position with incredible flexibility. They will figure it out. So, enjoy the journey because we'll be champions before you know it, and then we'll just be laughing at all the Warrior fans who all of the sudden came out of nowhere."
Though the Los Angeles spotlight is bright, Bryant thinks that the Lakers' key offseason addition - future Hall-of-Fame forward LeBron James - is up to the task.
"Coming in here, to this organization and this city, it's not anything that's new to him," Bryant said of James. "He's always had the spotlight. He's been able to deal with that gracefully. I think the difference here is that you have a collection of players and a lot of talent, all young. And so the challenge is, can they figure out what their games are individually sooner rather than later?
"Because at the beginning of the season, you saw a collection of individual talent try to figure out what it is that they can do and where they can do it on the floor -- what are their games? And at the same time, try to figure out how to make those games blend in as a group. Right? And you can't have both."
However, Bryant doesn't necessarily think that James' ball-dominant approach to his first season with the Lakers is conducive to winning championships.
"It's a test of Bron's patience and also doing what he needs to do to keep the team's head above water," Bryant said. "So, it's a balancing act. They were struggling, Bron got the ball, took control, decided to start playing point, doing everything, doing everything.
"That's not the recipe for winning championships by no means, but it is a recipe to keep your head above water, to give yourself a little breathing room and now it's going back to teaching how to play the way that we want to play."
Though it may take some time to put all the pieces together, Bryant thinks that the Lakers have a lot of potential as currently constructed.
"The patience is on all of us. We have to be patient," Bryant said. "But as a player, you're never patient with yourself. You're patient with each other, but not with yourself. You want to be there now. And you work to be there now with an understanding that it is going to take time. But you want to be there now. That's the way that you accelerate growth. They have a lot of potential, man. They'll figure it out."
Now, it's just a matter of them realizing that potential.