The Los Angeles Lakers make their first — and only — visit to Target Center on Wednesday in what very well could be Kobe Bryant’s final time here.
He’s not on an official farewell tour, but it’s enough of one that Lakers coach Byron Scott has reminisced this season about being a witness to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s final NBA season in 1989-90.
“It was a circus everywhere we went because everywhere we went it was a farewell tour,” Scott said. “Before every game there were gifts and all this stuff. It was crazy, a little bit of a distraction at times, more for him than us. Everybody was trying to take advantage in a good way of saying how much they appreciated the way that man played all those many years.”
Alike but different
You can call both the Timberwolves and the winless Philadelphia 76ers teams rebuilding. Just don’t call them similar, not with a Wolves team that is miles and miles ahead thanks to the presence of No. 1 overall picks Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and point guard Ricky Rubio as well as veterans Kevin Garnett, Tayshaun Prince and Andre Miller.
The Sixers and coach Brett Brown have rookie Jahlil Okafor and, well, a bunch of future first-round picks and other assets that won’t help now while they wait for Joel Embiid to get healthy and for Dario Saric to leave Europe for the NBA.
“I don’t even feel like we’re close,” Brown said Monday when the 76ers came to Target Center. “I respect where they’re at. They’re further along than we are. … But we’re comfortable where we’re at.”