Kobe Bryant still awaits his bronze cast statue in front of the Staple Center, it's really only a matter of time. That didn't stop the Black Mamba from deeming Magic Johnson worthy of a second statue, all because he pulled off the signing of LeBron James. Hyperbole aside, Magic has done a good job of managing all the egos taking up space with the Lakers' nation, mostly by diminishing his own sense of pride.

While Magic Johnson's business is still up for question in the Basketball world, by signing LeBron James, he has certainly givien himself a probable chance of "getting it right." Kobe spoke kindly of his Lakers' brethren as a guest on The Stephen A. Smith Show, even he idolized Magic like no other, even his own father Joe Bryant.

"Magic was always my favorite player growing up. He wins five championships with the Lakers, right? And then he becomes an owner and wins five more. Then he steps away, comes back when he’s president of basketball operations and is influential in bringing LeBron James to L.A. I mean, they might have to get this dude another statue. What Magic is pulling off, man, it’s absolutely incredible."

The Lakers transformed themselves into contenders in one stroke by signing LeBron. Whether he demonstrates the aptitude or not, it goes without saying that having a revered person like Magic on board, adds an air of respectability to the franchise. Lakers' fans could always count Kobe as one of their own. The question of Kobe leaving the Lakers presented itself a few times over his career, but I'd argue his status was never in doubt. If he said otherwise it was only to threaten management to get their ducks in order, the same way LeBron has jockeyed for position.

[via]