A day after the Los Angeles Lakers traded away point guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for a pair of young guards in Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, Kobe Bryant expressed his displeasures about the move.
Bryant took his sentiments to Twitter on Thursday as he stated that the trade was “not cool.”
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 20, 2014
Bryant had been teammates for the past three and a half seasons with Blake as he signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Lakers in July 2010. During Blake’s time with the team, he helped Los Angeles reach the playoffs in all three seasons prior to this year. Bryant was also gave Blake the nickname “Vino Blanco” as a combination between his two self-proclaimed nicknames in “Vino” and “Black Mamba” due to his the intensity on the court.
Prior to the trade, Blake was having a productive season in an expanded role as he was averaging 9.5 points and career-highs in assists (7.6) and minutes (33.0).
The 10-year veteran has been touted as a tenacious defender and great teammate by not only Bryant but by other coaches and fellow teammates.
“He was a joy to coach,” head coach Mike D’Antoni said after Wednesday’s 134-108 loss to the Houston Rockets. “I think every coach should have an opportunity to coach somebody like that. He was one of the toughest guys that I’ve ever coached, and he’s good. Anywhere that wants to win, he’ll be a nice piece.
“Steve’s a good player, he’s going to a team where he’ll play a lot, and they’ll love him. It’s disappointing to everybody, but that’s the business of the game.”
General manager Mitch Kupchak discussed the trade with the media on Thursday stating that the move was made in part to help the development of their young point guards in Jordan Farmar and Kendall Marshall.
It really got to the point where we needed to free up some time in the backcourt to look at Jordan [Farmar] and give Kendall [Marshall] the time that he’s earned and let’s review and evaluate where we are with those two players,” Kupchak said. “And the other part of it is, we got back two young players that are developing.”
Marshall has been a great find this season by the Lakers as he is averaging 12.5 points and 12.2 assists in 17 starts. This also includes seven games of at least 14 assists that ties him for the league lead with Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul.
Nonetheless, the Lakers’ decision to move Blake is a part of the business and sometimes it may be hard for players to deal with teammates being traded as they often times become close friends with each other. So although it may not be a choice that Bryant necessarily likes, he must remember that each move made by Los Angeles’ front office has the team’s future in mind.
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