With the Miami Heat playing the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant—two of the best shooting guards of their generation—will be facing off for the final time. Or they could be riding the bench.
Wade was unequivocal about his intentions should the Lakers choose to rest Bryant, telling reporters Sunday, "Then I'm not playing either," per Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post.
Bryant has appeared in 56 of his team's 72 games this year. Los Angeles has been proactive with the 37-year-old when sensing the faintest hint of trouble. Most recently, the Lakers sat him down for games against the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns on March 15 and 18 to nurse a sore shoulder.
Kobe featured in each of the Lakers' last three games, and he dropped 28 points in a 116-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday.
According to Joey Ramirez of the team's official site, he plans to play in Los Angeles' next two games—on Easter against the Washington Wizards and Monday against the Utah Jazz. While the team—or Kobe himself—hasn't ruled Bryant out against the Heat, it remains a possibility. Granted, he'd at least have a day off to recover before the game.
Bryant should do everything he can to remain healthy for Los Angeles' regular-season finale on April 13 so he can get a true curtain call for his legendary career. It would be a shame nonetheless if that means he's unable to oppose Wade one more time.