Lakers' Kobe Bryant, D'Angelo Russell to play vs. Thunder

BY Jovan Buha • January 8, 2016

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant (sore right shoulder) and rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell (sprained right ankle) will play against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on Friday night:

Lakers head coach Byron Scott said Bryant didn't feel any discomfort in his shoulder today, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Despite the promising news that Bryant is playing, an incredibly difficult matchup awaits him:

The Mamba is no longer the All-Defensive player he used to be, and Durant is arguably the best -- if not one of the best -- one-on-one scorers in the league, with a unique size advantage (he's 6-foot-10 or 6-foot-11, depending on who you ask) over basically anyone quick enough or athletic enough to stick with him.

With that said, don't expect any loved lost between the two sides, as Durant said at shootaround on Friday that the two aren't "buddy-buddy" when they play each other, according to FOX Sports Southwest:

"We weren't too buddy-buddy, I guess," Durant told reporters. "We're going out there and competing against each other. That's what it's all about. That's what I live for is that competition. That's one thing I'll miss ... once he's retired, that competition part."

Last time these two met up, Bryant went at Durant twice on the same possession, with Durant blocking him both times. Regardless of the score, this one should be fun.

share story