The Lane Bryant

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Kobe Bryant’s jersey will be raised into the rafters of Staples Center prior to the Warriors matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night.

On Thursday, however, Warriors guards Patrick McCaw and Klay Thompson took the opportunity to praise the future Hall of Famer.

And even take a trip down memory lane.

Thompson had a closer look than most at Bryant’s work ethic. His father Mychal, a former Laker and the team’s current radio color commentator, would keep his son close by during the team’s run of championships in late 2000’s. While in high school, Thompson would sometimes attend Bryant’s workout sessions at UC Irvine.

Bryant’s propensity to take the game’s biggest shot also made a mark on Thompson.

“He had that mentality that he wanted to win it,” said Thompson. “The guy put everything had into the game. You got to respect that.”

Thompson has had some success against the Lakers throughout his career. A day after inking a four year, $70 million contract, Thompson scored a then career-high 41 points in an November, 1, 2014 matchup against the Lakers, with Bryant guarding him most of the night. The matchup between the two teams, combined with Thompson’s history with Bryant, makes Monday night even sweeter for the Warriors guard.

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“It should be a great atmosphere in there,” said Thompson. “Its an honor they scheduled us for that game, honestly.”

McCaw matched Thompson’s excitement in playing in front of Bryant.

“I’m very excited,” McCaw acknowledged.

Though McCaw wasn’t in the league during Bryant’s career, the second-year guard was on hand during the final game of Bryant’s career. McCaw said he got a ticket for the contest while he was in town being courted by an agency vying to represent him as he prepared for the 2016 NBA Draft.

“That was a surreal moment,” McCaw said. “Kobe’s definitely one of the guys – I’m pretty sure everyone in this gym looks up to [him] as a basketball player.”

With a win over the Lakers Monday, the Warriors would sweep regular season road slate against the Lakers for the first time since the 1993-94 season.

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Source : http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/14/klay-thompson-and-patrick-mccaw-eager-to-play-in-front-of-kobe-bryant/

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