Klay Thompson says he’s going to play his ‘hardest’ in Los Angeles against Lakers to honor Kobe and Gigi Bryant

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson may be a Bay Area legend, but he’s a Los Angeles kid at heart.

The sharpshooter grew up in L.A. as a big fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant. For that reason, Golden State’s current playoff series against Los Angeles is a special one for him, as it’s the first time in his NBA career that he’s getting to face the Lakers in the playoffs.

After hosting Games 1 and 2 of the series, the Warriors will be in Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4, giving Thompson a chance to compete in the playoffs in the same arena that he grew up going to.

He recently spoke about what that means to him and explained that he’s going to play his hardest to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

“Just from a life standpoint, it’s such an incredible experience to play in front of my friends and family,” he said of getting to play in Los Angeles. “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 a building where all my hoop dreams came about. So, I have so much respect for just the opportunity ahead for me, and I’m a huge Kobe fan, obviously. He was 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.”

It certainly seems like the upcoming games are going to be very meaningful for the five-time All-Star.

Thompson gave the Lakers more than they could handle in Game 2, dropping 30 points while shooting 8-for-11 from beyond the arc. His performance helped the Warriors even the series at one game apiece after the Lakers stole Game 1.

The Lakers were so worried about Stephen Curry in Game 2 that a lot of opportunities opened up for Thompson. L.A. will likely tweak its approach going into Game 3, but Thompson will probably still have plenty of chances to do some damage if his shots are falling.

Game 3 of the series is set for Saturday, and Game 4 will follow on Monday. The Lakers are looking to take care of business at home and put the Warriors in a major hole. It’s worth noting that Golden State was just 11-30 in away games during the regular season.

Time will tell if the Lakers can take advantage of that.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.