You may not like it, but all is well with Bryant, Lakers By Dennis L. Silva April 18, 2006 They hate it. All of them. All the people who doubted him, all the people who said he would never win without Shaquille O'Neal, all the people who said the Michael Jordan comparisons were ludicrous. They're loathing every moment of this year. They hate every point scored and every win tallied. Well, look at him now. A 44-37 record. Seventh seed in the Western Conference; 35.4 points per contest; 44.9 percent shooting from the floor. For every turnover, 11 points have been recorded in the scorebook. He proved them wrong. He did what they doubted he could -- took a team of one enigma and marginal role players, and turned it into a playoff participant a mere two seasons after, arguably, the greatest center in the game's history had shed the purple and gold. And it only gets worse from here. Those who said he can't, those who said he won't, now see what the rest of the basketball world sees. A team that likes to play with each other. A team that relies upon Kobe Bryant. A team that (gasp!) Bryant has grown to trust and believe in. A team that consists of Lamar Odom, Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown and Luke Walton. A team that's starting point guard averaged nine minutes per night in 16 games last season. A team that will end up with a better regular-season record than the Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. Today, All is Well Gone are the distractions. Colorado is hardly ever mentioned, with the exception of when the Lakers face off against the Nuggets. The Jackson-Bryant soap opera that was supposed to consume newspaper headlines? Nonexistent. Internal struggles between teammates angry over Bryant's perceived ball-hogging? Either it has no validity or players have done an admirable job of keeping such fish feed away from the piranhas of the major media. Everything is back to normal in Laker-land. Fans come in droves, anticipating the next Bryant scoring spree. Circumstances have become so gross that a 35-point night has become an off night for Bryant -- yet an outing worthy of ESPN mention for the likes of Tim Duncan, LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. Ah, yes, but isn't this why they hate it? Isn't this why they recycle material, bringing up Colorado or resurrecting the notion that he was responsible for the downfall of what could have been the greatest dynasty in NBA lore? And, yet, they still hate it. They always will.