Los Angeles, October 22: Coming off one of their most difficult seasons ever, the LA Lakers went through some significant changes in the offseason.  Former Laker star Byron Scott took over from Mike D’Antoni as head coach and the team lost All-Star forward Pau Gasol to free agency. In spite of all this, the Lakers are determined to make a comeback and are banking on Kobe Bryant’s return and the new addition of Jeremy Lin to lead the charge.

Kobe Bryant, returning from injury, will have his task cut out as the leader of the Lakers.  Kobe has had an illustrious career and this season will be a new challenge for him to bring the Lakers back in contention for the championship.  Jeremy Lin will be a key piece along with Steve Nash to direct the offense.

Preparing for his 19th season at the NBA, Kobe seems to have mixed emotions. “Feeling a mix of emotions I haven’t felt in 18 years of being a pro”Bryant wrote on Twitter recently.

Losing Pau Gasol was a big blow, however first-round draft pick Julius Randle is considered one of the top young up and coming big men and his addition adds to the Lakers’ scoring capabilities.

The addition of Byron Scott as head coach should pay dividends for the Lakers.  He is a Lakers legend and has won several championships. His experience of playing during the Showtime era with the likes of Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar should provide a major boost for the team.

The Lakers have an interesting mix of veteran plays and new faces.  If the players can gel together and remain healthy, the team will be one to watch out for in the Western Conference.

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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