Lakers News: Warriors’ Klay Thompson Grateful To Be Playing Playoff Games In Same Arena He Grew Up Watching Kobe Bryant
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

A series against his hometown team the Los Angeles Lakers is special for Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson, who grew up watching them during his formative years in Southern California.

Thompson has always played well against the purple and gold, so it was no surprise to see him lead the Warriors to a Game 2 victory to tie the series up at one game apiece.

The sharpshooter led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting including 8-of-11 from deep. Every time the ball came out of Thompson’s hand, it felt like it was going to go in and that essentially ended up being the case.

Ahead of Game 3 and Game 4 back in Los Angeles, Thompson reflected on his journey to the NBA and how Kobe Bryant shaped him to be the player he is today, which is why he’s grateful to now play his first postseason game in the arena he grew up watching the Lakers star.

“I’m gonna…it doesn’t change much. I’m gonna be myself, I’m gonna play hard on both ends, I’m gonna hunt great shots. But just from a life standpoint, it’s such an incredible experience to play in front of my friends and family. I mean, I would go to Staples as a high school basketball player with my pops just dreaming of playing on that floor. Playing against the best in the world. Now to be here and be a part of it, I don’t lose sight of that perspective of how great this opportunity is and I’m just excited to do it in the building where all my hoop dreams came about.

“I have so much respect for just the opportunity ahead for me. I’m a huge Kobe fan, obviously, he’s my biggest inspiration and I’m just gonna play my hardest just to honestly honor him and Gigi cause without his play and all those years of me viewing his tenacity on the court I would not be the athlete I am today.”

Thompson is just like every kid who grew up near Los Angeles during Bryant’s prime and it seems he’s adopted the same mentality and approach to the game that the Black Mamba had. It must be surreal for Thompson to be playing his favorite team growing up in the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean the Lakers can relax one bit when Games 3 and 4 back home in their arena tip-off.

Austin Reaves shares challenges of guarding Warriors compared to Grizzlies

After a grueling six games against the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles faces a much different challenge against Golden State. Through two games, the Lakers have had to change up some of their defensive tactics and Austin Reaves went into more detail as to how guarding the Warriors defers from the Grizzlies.

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