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Washington Wizards veteran Paul PIerce has lamented Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant’s latest injury which will sideline him for the rest of the season.
Despite their battles over the years including two meetings in the NBA Finals in 2008 and 2010, Pierce has a great deal of respect for Bryant and was saddened by the news that the Lakers star had suffered another serious injury.
Bryant will undergo surgery on a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder on Wednesday, thus ruling him out for the rest of this season.
“It always saddens me, knowing that Kobe, who is one of my NBA brothers, we lose [him] due to injury,” Pierce said during shootaround before the Washington Wizards beat the Lakers 98-92 at Staples Center. “It always saddens me.”
“A lot of fans around the league pay to watch Kobe, a lot of fans around the world. Regardless of how the Lakers are doing or not, he’s an icon. He’s a player who defined his generation. A lot of people that come out here to see him.”
Pierce also sat out Tuesday’s game with a toe injury, but he insisted that it was “just fun” between the pair when they used to trade trash talk on the court during games.
The former Boston Celtics star is disappointed with the lack of trash talk in the modern day game as he believes many of the players are friends and blamed video games for the change in the generation’s approach as many young players now play on their computers at home instead of going to the park where they learn to have that edge to their game.
Pierce also commented on how he has used his basketball IQ and footwork to make up for his lack of athleticism, and he believes that Bryant could benefit from a similar approach.