Kobe Bryant says current Lakers roster 'best talent I've been around'

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant made a bold claim on media day, calling this year's team the most talented he's been a part of

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant told Yahoo! Sports that his 2012-13 team is the most talented group he's been around. After acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash this offseason, Bryant believes that, on paper, it's a better roster than any of his five NBA championship teams.

"On its face, it's the best talent I've been around," Bryant said. "Whether that translates into winning a championship remains to be seen. But just on paper you're talking Defensive Player of the Years, MVPs, All-Stars. You're talking about a myriad of things. Guys who are at the top of their position at one point or another. It's pretty dope."

There are still chemistry questions, and it's not as if the current Lakers stars are at their peaks. Nash, at 38 years old, is past his prime, and so too is the 34-year-old Bryant. Pau Gasol, 32, could be at the beginning of his decline.

Meanwhile, Howard will start the season by recovering from an April back surgery.

Bryant's claim is a bold one. His 2004 NBA Finals team that lost to the Detroit Pistons included Shaquille O'Neal, Gary Payton and Karl Malone. Bryant won his last two championships with the talents of Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Metta World Peace, the man formerly known as Ron Artest.

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