words_Nick Engvall

Should Kobe Bryant's knee be a concern? I say no.Kobe Bryant says he’s at about 60 percent after coming off of his third knee surgery since 2003.

The Miami Heat have added what seems to be an All-Star team of players to the roster in South Beach.

The debate as to whether or not either of these two favorites will grab this year’s NBA Championship will only continue to rage on like wild fire for the next six months.

With the Lakers losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves in London, 111-92 in the first pre-season game of the year, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of Lakers haters (not to say that I’m not a permanent resident already). However, Kobe is never one to lack confidence, and recently touted that he could take LeBron James in a game of one-on-one . . . in his sleep.

Perhaps it’s true, Kobe does have an ability to score like there is nobody on the court; even teammates seem invisible at times to Black Mamba. This might be something that LeBron himself would even admit to, and perhaps THAT is why he went to Miami in the off-season. King James might realize that he can’t hang with Kobe one-on-one, and that the only player in the league that might be able to is Dwyane Wade.

So while D-Wade and Kobe battle one-on-one, assuming both of these powerhouses make it to the NBA Finals next year, LeBron will have the help of new faces in new places with sharp shooter Mike Miller and, of course, the third member of the “South Beach Super Team” Chris Bosh.

You can discount the pre-season as just a warm up, after all, there isn’t much seriousness to be seen in the latest Sneaker Watch, but Kobe will potentially be playing without the pain that plagued him last season on his way to a fifth NBA Championship Ring. The Lakers also added some key role players in the form of Steve Blake and Matt Barnes, so despite all the flashing lights that have invaded Miami in recent months, Hollywood is still home of the league’s greatest show.

After all, they are the defending champs until someone beats them.