LOS ANGELES - Kobe Bryant is confident the Los Angeles Lakers are on the road to recovery and will soon be "laughing" at fans of the all-conquering Golden State Warriors.
Lakers legend Bryant said the iconic NBA franchise would soon be challenging for honours once more after failing to make the play-offs for the past five seasons.
The Lakers, who signed LeBron James in the close season in a bid to transform their fortunes, are currently 14-9 in the Western Conference.
Asked if he believed his former team would win another NBA title soon, Bryant replied: "Of course they will. Of course they will."
"They have determination to figure it out. They will figure it out," said Bryant, who was speaking at a Lakers event held at the Staples Center late on Monday.
"They have talented players. So enjoy the journey because we'll be champions before you know it. Then we'll just be laughing at all the Warrior fans," he added, referring to the reigning NBA champions.
However while Bryant expressed confidence about the Lakers' renewal, he warned that James could not be expected to shoulder the burden of the team's recovery alone.
"He's always had the spotlight, right? He's been able to deal with that gracefully," Bryant said. "I think the difference here is that you have a collection of players with a lot of talent all young. And so the challenge is, can they figure out what their games are individually, sooner rather than later?
"It's a test of Bron's patience, and also doing what he needs to do to keep the team's head above water. So it's a balancing act."
© Agence France-Presse
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