Getty Images

You are Kobe Bryant, arguably (though with less and less need as of late) the best player in the NBA. After bashing the Lakers organization in the offseason for wasting the prime years of your career, you asked, repeatedly, to be traded. You called out your teammates and napalmed every bridge spanning the ever-growing chasm between yourself and the front office. Your years in L.A. were over.

Fast forward just seven short months: You're backed by Pau Gasol, you've buried the hatchet with your talented young big man and your Lakers are the prohibitive favorites to come out of the Western Conference.

What a difference a year makes.

Your road to the NBA Finals begins here. At several points along your journey, you will be met with challenges that will require you to pick between two possible paths, only one of which will get you closer to that elusive ring.

Choose wisely. These next eight weeks just might define your career.