Kobe Bryant has never been one to lack in confidence, and with his squad preparing for a Playoff run, Kobe says that he expects to be hoisting the NBA championship trophy in June. From ESPN: “I expect to win it, absolutely,’ Bryant said. ‘I think the thing that’s our biggest strength is our versatility and our size. (Ramon) Sessions has added another dimension to our team in terms of speed and point guard that can score the ball. Our bench has been playing extremely well. We’ve been shooting the ball extremely well, and our biggest key is our perimeter shooting, limiting our turnovers, and keeping the game at our pace. If we can do those things in the postseason, I like our chances.’ [...] Not that the opponent really matters to Bryant. ‘Everybody’s a problem,’ Bryant said when asked who the top contenders were. ‘The Western Conference has been tough from top to bottom now for years. There are no easy matchups. You can’t look at one particular matchup and say, ‘OK, that’s going to be an easy series. That’s going to be a gimme series.’ That just doesn’t happen in the Western Conference. The Clippers have a good seed at the four slot, and they’ve got to face Memphis. You’re looking at us in the third slot, and we’ve got to deal with a Denver team that’s incredibly active and a great scoring team or we’ve got to play the defending champs. There’s no easy matchup.’ One thing the Lakers will have on their side through the tough playoff run is the collaboration of their leaders. Bryant said that he and first-year Lakers coach Mike Brown are on the same page after a rocky inaugural season together. ‘It’s better than it’s ever been,’ Bryant said. ‘At the start of the season, the relationship was all new. So we still were kind of trying to feel out each other, and see what he likes, what I like, what the team needs and so on and so forth. Midway through the season, you have struggles, you have bumps on the road where you have to figure things out. That’s true with any championship team. You look at the (New York) Giants last year; that was a dysfunctional crew. Not to say that we were dysfunctional, but you have ups and downs and that’s just part of working through it. I think teams that are standing at the end are teams that are able to figure things out, continue their open lines of communication, and make themselves a better ballclub at the end. So right now, we’re in a very good place.’”