Kobe Bryant’s Lakers are no longer in the playoffs, but Klay Thompson’s Golden State Warriors still are. Thompson, in an interview on The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning, talked about his practice regimen, gameday rituals, and what it was like guarding Bryant for the first time.
Thompson, who grew up watching his father Mychal play for the Lakers (amongst other teams), was a Laker fan as a youngster. But now as a member of the Warriors, Kobe and the Lakers are some of his biggest rivals.
Klay talked about the first time he guarded Bryant, and the experience he still remembers.
“My welcome to the NBA moment was probably when I was playing the Lakers down at Staples for the first time in front of all my friends and family. Just guarding Kobe was a crazy experience. The moves he had, the calls he was going to get. I can see from the stands – man this guy gets a lot of calls, but I can see he deserves them. He’s a Hall of Famer. But you know, guarding him is a tough thing to do.”
Patrick asked Thompson if Kobe, a player who likes to chirp a bit on the court, if he had anything to say to Klay during their first matchup.
“I don’t think he did. I think he did tell me congrats and he did try to put me in the post a couple times. I did pretty well for my first time.”
But overall, how did the experience go for Klay, and most importantly to Laker fans – how did Bryant do in his first game against Klay?
“Well t’s tough when all your friends and family have to be at that one game – and I think he had 40 on us. No, I think it was 38. All my friends have to be Laker fans, too, they’ve yet to convert to Warrior fans, so I had that working against me too.”
With the emerging Warriors, the division rivalry between the Lakers and Golden State should continue to blossom over the next few seasons. Still, with Thompson looking like a future All-Star caliber player, it’s fun to hear about his first experience guarding the Laker legend.
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