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Joe Lacob believes Warriors’ Kobe Bryant is ready to emerge and give Stephen Curry a boost

Kobe Bryant, Warriors, Stephen Curry, Joe Lacob

There will never, ever be another Kobe Bryant, but when talking about where the Golden State Warriors are following a successful 2021 NBA Draft, team owner Joe Lacob couldn’t help but drop the name of the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s name.

The Warriors kept both of their first-round picks in the draft and used them to take Jonathan Kuminga at No. 7 and Moses Moody at No. 14. The two could have an immediate impact on Golden State starting next season, but Lacob also knows that some players may take time before they manifest the qualities of a superstar, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

“Maybe we get lucky and some guy emerges right away,” Lacob said. “But maybe it’s in Year 2. Look at Poole (late last season). Kobe Bryant didn’t emerge until Year 3. If you go back and look at history, that’s the way it’s been. Your expectation has to be generally that it’s Year 2 or 3. I’m OK with that.”

Lacob also understands that some Warriors fans might not have the patience to wait for these young guns to mature and become stars, but he also adds that the current situation of Golden State’s makeup wouldn’t make it easy to get another elite player without sacrificing a key piece, at the very least.

Maybe some of our fans aren’t. But I think they don’t understand our payroll limitations. We can’t add another star without losing one of our stars. And I like our stars. So this is the next-best thing to do, the way we’re approaching this.”

The Warriors are in a bit of a race against time, as they look to win at least one more title during the remaining prime years  — and while they’re still under team control — of Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.