Tony Parker Wants to Face Kobe Bryant, Lakers ‘at Full Strength’

by April 20, 2012

The Spurs and Lakers have taken turns beating one another to a pulp this season, and with the rubber match taking place in San Antonio tonight, Tony Parker is eager to play against Kobe (who’s expected to suit up) and company when they’re at full strength to see how his squad measures up. Reports the Express-News: “Spurs coach Gregg Popovich searched high and low. The only purple and gold jerseys emblazoned with the No. 24 he found at the Staples Center earlier this week were on the backs of fans in the stands. ‘I looked hard,’ Popovich said. ‘I didn’t see Kobe anywhere.’ Indeed, Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant has missed seven consecutive games with a shin injury, including two matchups with the Spurs. […] With an eye toward a potential playoff matchup, the Spurs would at least like one chance to size themselves up against a Lakers team at full strength. ‘I want him to play,’ point guard Tony Parker said. ‘I want to play the Lakers at full strength. It’s a good challenge for us, with the playoffs beginning in two weeks.’ The Spurs have split two meetings against the Bryant-less Lakers this month. Behind 21 points from Pau Gasol and an NBA season-high 30 rebounds from Andrew Bynum, L.A. notched a 98-84 victory on April 11 at the AT&T Center. Six days later, propelled by 29 points and 13 assists from Parker, the Spurs scored revenge in a 112-91 triumph.”