Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant believes the team will have to lean on the players who have helped raise the banners in the Staples Center to turn the season around.
"A lot of responsibility is going to fall on me and Pau [Gasol], but we need Metta [World Peace]," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. "Metta has a big presence on this team. I really encourage him to take that role head on – and to be an enforcer with it. But Metta, he's done it before. We've won before together.
"It has to be the guys who have done it before."
Bryant said he and Metta play off each other's intensity like Magic Johnson did with Michael Cooper back in the 1980s.
"Metta's just as intense as I am, and he's got a lot of that psychopath attitude that I do," Bryant said.
"That's something Magic and me talked about, about how [Michael] Cooper and him did that a lot, how they played off each other."
Bryant is optimistic he and the rest of the Lakers (9-14) starters can turn the season around.
"We're communicating," Bryant said. "Me and Pau, Metta and Coach (Mike) D'Antoni. Steve (Nash) and Dwight (Howard). We're communicating. We're going to figure this out."
The Lakers should get some help when Nash returns possibly next week and Gasol comes back, who is eyeing a return Dec. 22.
"I'm feeling better," Gasol said. "We don't want to risk going back to the way it was before. We're taking it one step at a time so we won't have any setbacks and I won't have to be out any longer than I need to."