On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers will host the Miami Heat for the last time this season. Along with being the final time these two teams meet during the 2015-16 campaign, it may also showcase the final head-to-head matchup between Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.
Bryant’s status for games in the final stretch of his career has been up in the air on a daily basis. Most of the time, Kobe’s playing status isn’t determined until moments before the game.
Although it appears Bryant wants to play in the final nine games of his career, there’s no guaranteed he’ll be able to pull it off. Three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade may have given the Lakers superstar added motivation to be in uniform on Wednesday saying the following, according to Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post:
What if Kobe sits Wednesday vs. #Heat? Dwyane Wade: "Then I'm not playing either."
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) March 27, 2016
Similar to his battles with LeBron James over the years, Bryant has some history with Wade and may make a point of it to be ready for Wednesday’s game at the Staples Center.
As long as Bryant can stay healthy through the next few days without any setbacks, the five-time NBA champion should be good to go for his final matchup with Wade and the Heat.
Kobe will have only nine games left in the season. Miami is one of the few marquee matchups left on the schedule along with the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Bryant’s final game against the Utah Jazz on April 13.