The script flipped sometime ago, though, and it’s been the Warriors who have had the Lakers’ numbers over the last three years with an overall record of 9-2 in their last 11 meetings.
Bryant is now on the verge of retirement and is struggling to get through games due to an assortment injuries. He was questionable heading into Thursday’s game against Golden State due to an Achilles issue and was advised by his training staff to sit out the next couple of weeks. It was going to be his final visit to Oracle, however, and Bryant decided to tough it out on his way to eight points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
Before he was introduced to the crowd one last time, the Warriors played a message to Bryant from Jerry West on the big screen:
Prior to tonight’s action, Jerry West provided this video tribute to Kobe Bryant. https://t.co/jkF6sp8qBN
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 15, 2016
Needless to say, Bryant was emotional about it all. As for the game, it was actually a pretty close contest heading into the second half, but Stephen Curry struck with eight three-pointers for 26 points in three quarters and the game turned into a 116-98 blowout. The fans chanted for Bryant in the final minutes, and the guard obliged by coming back in before heading back out to a standing ovation:
After the contest, Bryant embraced many of the Warriors’ players, including Draymond Green, who showed him great respect and shared what he received from the legendary guard from behind the scenes:
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) January 15, 2016
Jim Park is a blogger and Tweet of the Night author of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridaBlog.