When team USA scrimmaged this summer in preparation for the Olympics Kobe often lined up against guard Russell Westbrook. Of course in true Kobe fashion he talked a lot of smack (I know you seen the video with Kyrie Irving). Of course this didn’t sit well with Westbrook and Durant who took it out on the Lakers last night in a beatdown that was worse than the final score reflects. Read more after the jump.
Ric Bucher of CSNBayArea.com says both Westbrook and Kevin Durant have a little extra motivation against the Lakers because Kobe wouldn’t stop talking during the Olympics.
…source says the Black Mamba talked relentless smack during the Olympics that the Thunder stars weren’t going back to the Finals after the Lakers acquired Steve Nash and then added Dwight Howard right before the U.S. played Spain for the gold medal. Kobe also made a point of guarding Westbrook during practices and pumping him up, the theory being that he wanted to incite Russ to bump heads with KD over who the team’s best player is. (If you think that’s too conspiratorial to be real, you don’t know Kobe.) KD, in particular, got tired of hearing him. For what it’s worth: KD and Westbrook’s combined 69 points is the highest single-game total they’ve posted this season.
I’m sure KD and Westbrook had more than the Olympics on their mind. Despite the Lakers poor start to the season many people have these two teams facing off in the playoffs. Without Harden on deck this time the Thunder are making sure to let everyone know they’re still just as good.