Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant knows how a team can win NBA titles. He has five rings to prove it but is fully aware that it takes more than one (or two) players to be successful. Aware of the "gathering" that some teams have done, the Black Mamba believes that a ballclub's success does not fall solely to duos. Rather, he feels that manpower complement to a team's star is equally important.

In an interview with ESPN, Bryant was asked on his take on the NBA's elite duos on favorites for the coming 2019-20 season. Eventually, the 41-year-old gave a different take and said that it all depended on the players that were put around any duo, regardless of how talented they may be.

“It doesn’t matter. I think it matters what they put around those two guys, and then what is the offensive and defensive system they’re going to be executing. You could have marquee names and put those marquee names together, and guess if they could play together or not, but it ultimately comes down to what system do you have them in and how does that affect the rest of the guys.”

Bryant had his partners during his Lakers run. He partnered with Shaquille O'Neal and both won three NBA titles (2000 to 2002). Seven years later, the Bryant would win two more with Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol by his side. On both campaigns, the Lakers had a mix of veterans and role players that contributed to their success.

For the coming season, that too will be a key factor. The Lakers are stacked, same with the Los Angeles Clippers. But the Clips could end up pulling something big behind Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. On paper, they do have a less stellar backup crew compared to their hometown rivals. But teams' don't need many superstars to become successful.

As mentioned in a previous post, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers is another factor. Being a one-time NBA champion coach, it all boils down to how he can whip up the Clips this season. They face tall odds against a stacked Western Conference. Aside from the Lakers, there are the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets to be wary about.

It all boils down to which team has put together a good roster. They may not be impressive on paper but all that is thrown out the window once game time comes.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant does not agree with the statements made by Kanye West regarding slavery. In this photo, the NBA star attends the Vanity Fair Oscar Party following the 90th Academy Awards at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California, on March 4, 2018. Getty Images/Jean-Baptiste Lacroix