One Lakers legend paid tribute to another when current Warriors Executive Jerry West appeared on the Jumbotron at Oracle Arena to salute the retiring Kobe Bryant. When Bryant was just a 17-year-old kid, West was instrumental in the Lakers landing the kid from Philly in the 1996 NBA Draft.
“I’ve always had a fondness for him as a player,” West said. “Sometimes he would disappoint me with some of the things he would say, in particular with regards to players who would not play as hard as him. Number one, they couldn’t play as hard as him, but number two, they didn’t have the skill to play as hard as him.
“But I think on the balance, this has been a remarkable player, a player for the decades, simply one of the greatest players that ever played the game. And I’m talking about a handful of guys that ever played the game.”