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Durant agrees to Bosh: Lakers best team “on paper”

Aug 27, 2012, 7:58 AM EDT

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunde Getty Images

Chris Bosh came out last week and said that “on paper” the Lakers had the best team, but they were going to have to prove they could live up to that billing, and that is an entirely different thing.

Kevin Durant said basically the same thing.

Durant spoke with Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports as he was promoting his movie Thunderstruck — which I’m sure all of you saw over the weekend — and Spears got him to talk about the Lakers, who added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash this summer.

“People outside, fans, media, of course they are going to say [the Lakers are the favorites] because on paper they have the best lineup in the league. But you still got to play the games. We respect everybody. We are going to go through the league respecting everybody as well…

“It was a great move for [the Lakers],” Durant said. “[Howard] is the most dominant center in the league. It’s going to make it tough on other teams. But I like that challenge. We all like that challenge in OKC. It should be fun.”

The Thunder have proved they’re elite. The Heat have proved they’re champions. This group of Lakers needs to prove that still. And if Lakers fans think that is a lock, they may want to ask Eagles fans about their unbeatable team last season.

It will not be easy for L.A. to prove they belong. The Thunder are going to be a better team than they were last season. The Heat will be better as well. But the Lakers have pushed their way into that title conversation. Bosh and Durant may be right, the Lakers may have the most talent.

But we need to see who is healthy come March and into the playoffs. We need to see how all three of those teams are executing. We need to see who is defending.

Durant and Bosh are right, simply assembling the most talent does not guarantee a title. But with the veterans the Lakers have pulled together, I don’t think that chemistry, or getting to play off one another, is going to be the problem.

  1. lakerluver - Aug 27, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Don’t compare the Eagles with the LAKERS ever again!! The only thing they have in common is the fact that they’re both pro franchises. The LAKERS have been the NBA’s best franchise over the last 30+ seasons and are lead by the incomparable, five time champion Kobe Bryant and two time league MVP Steve Nash. The Eagles are perennial underachievers and were led by______?! “On paper” the LAKERS are the best team. Let’s see how it translates to on the court. I think it’s going to translate beautifully.

    • nitroglyphics - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      The point being made was that a collection of individual talents does not always translate in a team sport. Lakers fans should know this, because this is the same lineup that lost in the 2004 finals.

  2. eaglesw00t - Aug 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    Seriously? Vince Young makes a dumb comment, and it’s still circulating a year later in a different sport? Wow.

  3. perennialsinn21 - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Wow and to think a title is not won on paper really anyone with half a mind knows that it will take time for this team to come together and to think it won’t is dumb or a blind home we will see come early summer.

  4. manotas211 - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    No way is this the same lineup as 2004. Your crazy the mailman was 40. Gary payton couldn’t handle not having the ball in his hands and Kobe just wanted to be the man. How in the world was Ben Wallace going to stop a Shaq in his prime.

  5. lakerluver - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    I understand his point. However, it’s not a very good point. More times than not the best team in the NBA wins the title, unlike in the NFL or other pro leagues. 2004 has absolutely nothing in comparison with this LAKERS roster. In 04 Kobe and Shaq were locked in a power struggle, and Payton and Malone were a shell of their former selves…….even at their ages Kobe and Nash are still great players, D12 is arguably the 2nd best player in the league, Pau is still maybe the most skilled big in the league and MWP is one of the few players that can at least harass LeBron and Durant a little.

    • nitroglyphics - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      Power struggle or not those were two of the best individual talents in the game and it still didnt work out. That helps the writer’s point. How do u know dwight and kobe wont have a similar clash. And payton amd malone were both still more than capable players at that time. Malone averaged 13 and 9 that year without being featured on offense, still had his jumper, and was still a great passer. His skill set was similar to Gasol’s. And Payton won a title two years later with a LESS talented team.

      My point, and the point of the article, is we have to see if this works on the floor, before we crown them. If talent was all that mattered, and chemistry was irrelevant, Miami would have won the last two titles and not just one

  6. dls612 - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    All this talk about the Lakers being better on paper! Great! The pressure has now shifted and I wanna see how the Lakers deal with it! All eyes on the Lakers! Under the microscope and they betta live up to the hype!

    • money2long - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      there are certain players that can handle the spotlight and some that crumble. kobe wants it. kobe feeds off it. kobe is a leader and i don’t think the pressure will be what hinders the lakers. if anything, it will be chemistry. that’s the only thing the lakers should be concerned about. all eyes on you think he cares? that part’s a non factor.

      • dls612 - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        Not him personally, what about the rest? The pressure is on Howard,Nash and Mike Brown to make it work! They gotta make it work for Kobe!

      • eventhorizon04 - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM

        The issue isn’t how will Kobe handle the media spotlight – he’s been on teams that are expected to at least make the Finals. Same with Pau, MWP, and much of the rest of the roster.

        And it’s not how will Nash handle it – a lot of fans are rooting for Nash to win his first ring.

        The biggest issue is Dwight. Dwight was the guy who handled his exit from Orlando even more poorly than LeBron handled his exit from Cleveland. Dwight’s the guy who has to step into the role previously held by future Hall of Famers like Wilt, Kareem, and Shaq. Dwight came from a team (The Magic) where making it to the second round of the playoffs is pretty good. Dwight is now on a team where a second-round exit (for the third year in a row) would be a complete failure.

  7. lakerluver - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Unlike in the other pro leagues, the best team in the NBA overwhelmingly wins the title. The LAKERS are the best team on paper and will prove to be the best team on the floor as well. The best starting 5 bar none and Jamison/Meeks/Hill/Ebanks/Blake and Duhon equals a very formidable squad come June. Can’t wait!!!

    • money2long - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      i think earl clark will do some things this season as well.

  8. rexgrossman8 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    “Agrees to Bosh” or “Agrees with Bosh” ?

    • hannsta - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      Everytime..Yes..we get it… Kurts editor is a broken spellcheck button. Lower your expectations and learn to read through typos.

      • eventhorizon04 - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

        Catching a typo by Kurt isn’t impressive. I don’t get why people keep pointing out grammar errors when Kurt makes them 3 times a day.

    • sdboltaction - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      You should see things on the Pro Football Talk side of things hahahaha

  9. loungefly74 - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    we will see…we will see what happens. should be an interesting season.

    …with that said (and to spice up my comment), kurt, you said, “The Thunder have proved they’re elite.”…okay…they are elite CONTENDERS…sure…but not champions. without a title…they are still waiting to sit at the “adult table”. sorry, history and nostalgia rule this league. do the thunder have a legit shot to win? absolutely…but so do the Lakers..whom may i add, have been there plenty of times. i know its so easy to get caught up on the “flavor of the month”…but until they win…that whole FRANCHISE (thunder) has something to prove…because right now…as we talk smack about who is better on paper…the thunder have zero hardware.

  10. miamatt - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    For gawd’s sake can we just have games already? The fact that none of this will be remotely resolved until about ten months from now is mind-numbing. Lakers have to love their chances but it won’t be easy. I want to know who guards LeBron and who Howard is going to match up against defensively. If it’s Bosh then Howard will be standing out at 20 feet, not guarding the rim. I would almost be tempted to put him on LBJ and see what happens if I were the Lakers- James was more a power forward late in the playoffs anyway. Either way, Bosh will again be pivotal. And of course we can’t take for granted the possibility that neither Lakers nor Heat even make it to the Finals. But that’s who I see it boiling down to.

  11. lakerluver - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    @miamatt, no one matches up with LeBron! However, Artest can at least make him work harder than anyone else can. You do bring up a valid point about D12 guarding Bosh, though. But my counterpoint is who on Miami is going to guard Pau? Also, Artest is going to get wide open shots all season long! If he’s off Jamison will come in and knock down those shots. The rest of the league is gonna have to figure out how to guard the LAKERS, not the other way around.

  12. chargersallday17 - Aug 27, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    How is this laker team the me as 2004s ?? Ur high bro jus stfu n stop hateing !! Yall know the lakers will domminate !!! GO LAKSHOW !!!!!!!! :-)

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