Via Howard Beck of the New York Times:
A year ago, Bryant was clamoring for a trade and throwing verbal jabs at the front office. By fall, the ill feelings had been suppressed, though not forgotten. By winter, the Lakers were ascendant in the Western Conference, behind a buoyant Bryant and a blossoming Andrew Bynum. In January, they lost Bynum to a knee injury. In February, they traded for an All-Star replacement, Pau Gasol, and then cruised to the best record in the West.
Now the Lakers hold a 2-1 lead over the Spurs in the Western Conference finals, a circumstance no one dared dream of last summer. So all is well, right? [Read]