Kobe Bryant may not have wanted to see Lamar Odom go when the Lakers traded the forward to the Hornets, but at least they were getting Chris Paul in return. After the NBA canceled that deal for “basketball reasons,” the Lakers dealt Odom to the Mavericks for a first-round pick and a trade exception. Bryant is not happy about the deal.
“I don’t like it,” Bryant said Sunday. “I’ve known Lamar for a long time, and for the team itself, he’s meant a lot in terms of his versatility, his personality. He’s a big presence for us in the locker room, just from a team chemistry standpoint. He’s great at bringing guys together and things of that nature.
“I trust management knows what they’re doing. I let them do their jobs, I never get in the way but it’s tough. You’re talking about sixth man of the year last year. He played lights out.”
Bryant said he didn’t understand the criticism of Lamar Odom’s appearance on a reality show, pointing out how well Odom played last year. He was especially upset that the Lakers traded Odom to the Mavericks, who knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs and are the defending champs.
One has to figure the Odom trade will lead to another deal, but it’s hard to guess what the Lakers’ front office has in mind. After they saw Odom’s emotional breakdown once the Hornets trade was announced, I’m guessing they figured they could not look back and had to deal him.