Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/21/13
This is probably not the best time to make guarantees, but Kobe Bryant has made one. The Lakers, he said, will make the playoffs. Granted, theyre three games under .500 and 3 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but Bryant sounded certain when he told SI.com that it was going to happen. It's not a question of if we make the playoffs, Bryant told the website. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone -- Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver ... whoever. I have zero nervousness about that. Steve Nash, although not as vocal, backed Bryant on the issue. Thats great, Nash said. You love it when your best player has that confidence and that challenge. Hes put it out there for us to go get it now. Added coach Mike D'Antoni: Im not a guarantee kind of guy but Ill let Bryant do the talking since hes got to do the walking. "Hes got a lot to say about it, so thats good. I dont mind, as long as we back it up. I think its great. You have to have that mind-set and I think everybody does. Bryants confidence has never been shaky, and it was easy to understand his belief that the Lakers (26-29) can make a late run and reach the postseason. They beat the Boston Celtics on Wednesday in an emotional game honoring their owner, Jerry Buss, who died this week, and theyve won nine of their past 13 games. But they still have 27 left to play, including contests against the Nuggets and the Thunder in the next two weeks. So time is running out. Bryant, however, isnt about to consider anything less than the playoffs. And its not just his own confidence that hes talking about. I'm not talking about just me, he said. Us as a group. We will make the playoffs. And we will compete. And part of the reason I have that confidence is the Miami game (a 107-97 loss in Miami on Feb. 10). We had control of the game. That was no fluke. We were playing very, very well. We were reading the defense, making the extra pass. OK, they have two great players (LeBron James and Dwayne Wade) who scored eight straight buckets and took control of the game. But we were right there. We can do it. Now all his teammates have to do is make Bryant look good. Dwight Howard, who has been the subject of much scrutiny but this week said he saw himself as the cornerstone of the franchise, said he thinks Lakers still have a shot at the postseason. Im not going to sit up here and say, No, were not going to make it, Dwight Howard said. Weve got to have faith. If we dont were not going to make it. I believe that were going to turn this around and were going to be great. -The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Rex Ryan: IK Enempkali could fill void left by Mario Williams

Report: Indians have best deal on table for Chapman

White Sox GM: Chris Sale has not requested trade

Nebraska’s Foltz, ex-MSU punter Sadler killed in car accident


Michael Bennett to Seahawks: Pay me or 'get rid of me'

Victor Cruz expects to be 'ready to go' for training camp

DeMarcus Cousins: All-NBA vote ‘absurd’ and ‘a joke’

Andrew Luck: Colts were 'gutsy' to keep Pagano, Grigson

Report: Lesnar, Jones tested positive for same substance

Todd Bowles: Geno Smith 'can be a good starter' for Jets

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

10 NFL players set to become household names in 2016

Lou Holtz regrets making immigration 'joke' at RNC

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker