The Los Angeles Lakers are set to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night which means the team will have to deal with reigning Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant, and dynamic point guard Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook is one of the most explosive players in the NBA and plays with a lot of intensity, something that is not lost on Kobe Bryant according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes:
Kobe recently said Russell Westbrook is the closest to him in terms of intensity. KB: "He just plays with a rage that’s not very common."
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) December 18, 2014
A Los Angeles native, Westbrook has been one of the toughest players to guard since he entered the NBA in 2008. His skills are outstanding, but he always plays with a fire and anger that very few players in the league can match.
Kobe knows a thing or two about playing with intensity as he is one of the most competitive players in the league and has no issue going head-to-head with anyone in the league. While not as outwardly loud as Westbrook, Kobe remains an extremely fierce competitor and has respect for what Westbrook does.
Both the Lakers and Thunder are on the outside of the playoff picture at the moment, but with Westbrook and Durant back from injury, the Thunder look poised to jump right back into championship contention.
The Lakers and Thunder have something of an understated rivalry as the Lakers knocked the Thunder out of the playoffs in 2010, while the Thunder returned the favor in 2012.[divide]
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