Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 3/2/12

The Oklahoma City Thunder currently hold the NBA's best record this morning. They are now 29-7, a half game better than the Miami Heat, and they have won seven straight along with 9 of their last 10 overall. How far they will push that number remains to be seen, but with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook they might just have the best 1-2 punch in the NBA right now. Ryan Anderson and Jason Richardson certainly seemed to believe so after the Thunder raced past the Magic on Thursday night.

We don't need to pretend like those two are a year or two away anymore, do we? Because they are here now.

One guy who certainly agrees, and is a fan of the squad the Thunder have put together down in OKC, is Kobe Bryant. In fact Bryant went as far as saying the Thunder have three of his favorite players in the League over this past weekend.

This according to The Detroit Free Press

Bryant said the Thunder have three of his favorite players in the league -- Durant, Westbrook and top reserve James Harden -- plus the player he considers the league's best post defender, Kendrick Perkins.

He was particularly protective of Westbrook, who draws frequent criticism for occasionally taking more shots than Durant and committing so many turnovers.

"Everybody needs to just lay off on Russell. That's a bad little dude, man," Bryant said. "You guys are fortunate to have him. You guys have two explosive scorers. I like how he's playing. He just has to continue to improve and do his thing."

Bryant even sees some of himself in Westbrook.

"He's got the same type of dog that I had in me, that I still have in me, when I was coming up playing with Shaq. He's got the same fight," Bryant said.

That fight helped Bryant win five NBA championships. The youthful Thunder is still seeking its first.

It is kind of an interesting comparison to make. At first I thought maybe Kobe was dropping some Phil Jackson-type Zen move on the Thunder by referencing his relationship with Shaq that eventually proved too toxic to continue. But, the other part of that is, they did also win three titles. If the Thunder won three titles, I think we can call that working out, regardless of what happens from there.

As far as Kevin Durant's concerned though, they are most definitely just getting started:

"We've just started to jell -- young guys that love playing basketball, that's all that we do. It makes it easier to come to work every day," Durant said. "I'm just blessed I'm a part of this organization. Everybody is just Grade A, and I'm glad we're getting better as a group."

If the Thunder do cash on in this year, the idea that KD and Westbrook are the best 1-2 punch since Shaq and Kobe might become more and more audible. For now though, at least Kobe sees the similarities.

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