Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers' LeBron James won't play Thursday vs. Warriors at Chase Center


Lakers' LeBron James won't play Thursday vs. Warriors at Chase Center

LeBron James won't make his second regular-season visit to Chase Center this campaign.

The Los Angeles Lakers star has a sore groin and won't play against the Warriors on Thursday. 

James, 35, missed 17 games with a left groin strain last season. He first picked up the injury in a Christmas Day loss to the Warriors in 2018, in what ended up being his last trip to Oracle Arena. He scored 22 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed eight rebounds on Feb. 8 in the Lakers' first regular-season game against the Warriors in San Francisco this season, leading Los Angeles to a 125-120 win. 

He and the Cleveland Cavaliers played against the Warriors in four straight NBA Finals from 2015 through 2018, losing three out of four times but upsetting the 73-win Golden State squad in a seven-game series win in 2016. James and two-time MVP Steph Curry were the faces of the one-sided Warriors-Cavs rivalry, but the two haven't faced each other this season.

Curry has missed all but four games since breaking his hand on Oct. 30, and he wouldn't have played against the Lakers on Thursday anyway. The Warriors guard is targeting a March 1 return, but Golden State coach Steve Kerr cast doubt on that possibility Wednesday. Kerr told reporters he thinks Curry "needs some more scrimmage time." 

[RELATED: Why a 'dap' is much more than a handshake in today's NBA] 

James and Curry were supposed to lead the Lakers and Warriors into a fierce Pacific Division rivalry, but that hasn't happened since James signed in Los Angeles two summers ago. The Lakers missed the playoffs last season and the Warriors are set to do the same this year. Curry and James should, at least, play against each other when Golden State heads to LA on April 7.

If they don't, the 2019-20 season would be the first since 2008-09 that James and Curry didn't play against each other at least once in the regular season. Curry was completing his last collegiate season at Davidson then. 

Klay Thompson shares moving Kobe Bryant tribute after memorial service

Klay Thompson shares moving Kobe Bryant tribute after memorial service

Staples Center held a beautiful memorial ceremony for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in Los Angeles on Monday, bringing luminaries from around the basketball world to pay tribute to one of the sport’s most iconic stars.

Among the current NBA players in attendance was Warriors star Klay Thompson, a Southern California native who grew up idolizing the Lakers and Kobe.

Klay paid homage to Bryant on Tuesday through social media, sharing several of his favorite photos with the five-time NBA champion along with a heartfelt message.

Thompson's dad, Mychal, played for the Lakers from 1987-1991, and currently serves as the Lakers' color commentator on their radio broadcasts.

[RELATED: How fatherhood, not career, made Kobe a man of all people]

This was Klay's first public message since Kobe, Gianna and seven others tragically died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

Scene at Kobe Bryant memorial filled with emotion, fans, celebrities

Scene at Kobe Bryant memorial filled with emotion, fans, celebrities

LOS ANGELES -- What started as a logistical challenge ended up being worth the trouble for thousands of Kobe Bryant fans who were lucky enough to view his celebration of life ceremony in person. 

There was a little haze in the air as camera crews from all over the world set up shop across the street from the main box office of Staples Center, where Bryant spent the majority of his 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Fans without tickets were urged not to approach the venue unless they were in possession of a ticket, which made the atmosphere much more somber and at times, even quiet. Gone were the candles and flowers that had filled the XBox Plaza just a few weeks ago. 

Clad completely in purple, gold and black, early-arriving fans were lined up outside the area by 8 a.m. PT. There was no pushing or shoving, just a slow, steady stream of people who wanted to celebrate the life of the five-time NBA champion and his daughter, both of whom perished in a helicopter crash with seven others nearly a month ago. 

There was a clear separation of media from the fans down Chick Hearn Plaza Drive and neither were allowed to interact with the other. A moat-like set of barricades kept the two sides apart, yet fans took pictures of the hundreds of cameras and likewise, the media filmed the arriving crowd. 

Around 8:30 a.m., doors to the arena opened and the streets once again were sparsely populated. While there was a consistent influx of people, there were far fewer than what you’d see for a basketball or hockey game. 

Then at 9:40, it was like the floodgates had opened. Huge crowds of attendees streamed in, apparently stuck in security lines that had wrapped around the block and down Olympic Blvd. Without the possibility of getting the majority of fans into their seats in 15 minutes, the start of the ceremony was pushed back nearly half an hour.

Jimmy Kimmel served as emcee and barely could hold back his tears as he shared memories of the 17-time NBA All-Star. The crowd was a "who’s who" of basketball’s past and present. Warriors star Steph Curry was in attendance, along with several Lakers and NBA alum like Phil Jackson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade.

[RELATED: Kobe's support of women shines at touching service]

Performances by Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera provided uplifting moments between the emotionally powerful speakers that included WNBA player Diana Taurasi, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, and NBA legends Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal. 

Maybe the most surprising speaker was Bryant’s wife Vanessa, who shared personal memories of both her daughter and husband. She showed incredible poise and strength while in front of the crowd, thanking them for their love, prayers and support since the tragic accident.