How will the L.A. Lakers' Kobe Bryant react to seeing old teammate Derek Fisher in a new uniform? We won't have to wait long to find out -- the Lakers take on Fisher's new team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, in a nationally televised tilt a week from tonight at the Staples Center. And Kobe didn't mince words when saying he was ready to compete against his longtime comrade.
“Look, we don’t get five championships by being sympathetic towards each other and kissing each other's a-- during the game,” Bryant told Dave McMenamin of ESPN L.A. “I’m going to demolish him. He understands that. If he switches off on me in the post, there’s going to be problems. I’m sure he’ll put an elbow right in my back, and that’s why we love each other.”
Bryant and Fisher were together in Los Angeles for nearly 13 seasons -- they were drafted together in 1996, played together from '96 to 2004, and were reunited from 2007 to this year. The Lakers traded Fisher at last week's trade deadline to the Houston Rockets, who bought him out and allowed him to sign earlier this week in OKC. It's worth noting that Bryant's boast is in line with his prior record -- in nine career meetings with Fisher between 2004 and '07, Bryant's averages are 31.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Not bad.