There may not be a Los Angeles Laker more hated by Sacramento King fans than that of Kobe Bryant. However, last night, as the eventual Hall of Famer passed Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, Kobe may have endeared himself to the purple and black loyalists, at least for a few minutes.
After a hard fought battle which resulted in the Lakers’ 103-98 win, the five time champion caught up with Time Warner Cable SportsNet where he talked about what could be his final game in the house formally known as Arco:
Reporter: This could be, well see what happens, your last game in this arena. What did the rivalry between the Lakers and Kings mean to you?
Kobe: Well, it’s meant a lot. Man, obviously it’s a huge part of our dynasty and this is just a very special place. It’s kind of a throwback arena, so hopefully it wont be the last one.
Later, local media caught up with Bryant in the locker room where he expressed to James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom that he predicts the Kings will stay in Sacramento:
Reporter: ….So you expect them (the Kings) to be here next year?
Kobe: Ah yeah. Man, look. They’ve been singing the same song for three years man. Enough already.
Bryant reiterated himself and his feelings to the Sacramento Bee:
“They’re (Kings) not going nowhere,” Bryant said, laughing, when surrounded by reporters late Saturday in the visitors locker room. “The cowbells are still (clanging) … I predict we’ll be back here next year. You guys have been saying the same thing for three years.”