Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers will do battle for the final time this season Thursday night.

It’s been one heck of a roller coaster ride for both teams since Los Angeles blew the Warriors out on Christmas Day. Interestingly enough, this is the game that derailed the Lakers’ season. LeBron James suffered a groin injury, and the rest is history.

With Golden State battling for the No. 1 seed and a shot at a three-peat, LeBron has been shut down for the remainder of the season.



Warriors head coach Steve Kerr addressed King James and the Lakers’ struggles this season prior to the game.

“I’m disappointed for him (James) and for the Lakers. I want everybody to be healthy every year,” Kerr told reporters. “It’s better for the league. It’s better for all the people involved.”

Kerr and the Warriors faced LeBron in each of the past four NBA Finals when the planet’s best player was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers — winning three of those series in the process.

There’s always been a level of mutual respect between Kerr and James. The head coach played with six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan. He knows second hand what it means to exist under the umbrella of being a star. Heck, all five of the Warriors’ starters are All-Stars.

As it relates to the Lakers, they are finishing up what has been a disastrous season. Former Warriors assistant Luke Walton will likely be fired as the team’s head coach. There’s a lot of connections between the two teams. There’s also a nice amount of admiration and respect.