After beating the New Orleans Pelicans at the Staples Center on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers will head up north to face arguably the best team in the NBA.
The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors will host Kobe Bryant and company at Oracle Arena for the last time this season with reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry looking forward to the matchup.
Following Warriors’ practice on Tuesday, Curry spoke to the media about Bryant and what he’s done for the game during his 20-year run in the NBA. The 27-year-old spoke highly of the Lakers superstar that he grew up idolizing like many other stars in the league today. Curry believes Bryant has had a sizable impact on the game, and the league is much better for it via Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News:
“You know the game’s in such a much better place because Kobe played in the league for 20 years,” Curry continued. “We appreciate all he’s done and we want to keep doing the game justice as we do what we do in our careers. He’s a great example, obviously, of what to do on the court, and at least for myself, I want to take that and keep it going.”
Although Bryant will be traveling with the Lakers to Oakland, it seems highly unlikely the five-time NBA champion will suit up against the Warriors on Thursday night. Kobe played only 16 minutes in the win over the Pelicans on Tuesday before being ruled out due to a sore right Achilles tendon.
Bryant is currently listed as questionable for Thursday game against the Warriors. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti believes Kobe should sit out the next couple of weeks to tend to the soreness in his Achilles as well as his surgically repaired right shoulder.
If Bryant does suit against the Warriors, the veteran guard will likely play limited minutes. The team will remain cautious with Kobe moving forward to ensure he’ll be able to make it through the season without another severe injury that ends his year prematurely.