When Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka gave Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin a cheap shot in the groin area, the reigning king of the slam dunk went down in a heap. If that had happened to Kobe Bryant, it would’ve played out differently.
“I probably would have smacked [Ibaka] in the mouth,” Bryant said to reporters after practice on Monday. “I would have dealt with the pain after.”
Bryant has shed his filter this season, and he’s been unusually candid with the media. His latest words make great fodder for what is already a major Western Conference showdown between two fierce rivals. The trouble for the Los Angeles Lakers, however, is that the matchups haven’t been much of a rivalry of late as Oklahoma City has gotten the best of the Lakers.
Chesapeake Energy Arena has been one of the toughest venues in the NBA to play in for opposing teams. The Thunder are 26-4 in their building this year, and the Lakers have lost their last five games in Oklahoma City, three of which have come in the playoffs last season.