The Los Angeles Lakers made a huge move at the trade deadline, swapping Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a first-round pick in the 2017 Draft. And so far, the results have been mixed for the team.
The Lakers promptly went on a three-game losing streak following the deal, as the team adjusted to playing alongside each other. After a week off due to the All-Star break, they snapped that skid in a 124-102 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at Staples Center.
Thomas was hardly the hero in the win, but he still managed to score 17 points off of the bench while dishing four assists in his first game in Los Angeles. For Thomas, however, the game wasn’t his real welcome to the city.
That came right after the trade, when Kobe Bryant himself told Thomas he was happy to see him with the Lakers, per Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
Isaiah Thomas said Kobe Bryant was one of the first people to reach out to him after he got traded. “I like you better in LA anyway,” Bryant said.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 24, 2018
Bryant and Thomas have had a relationship for a while, with the Lakers legend coaching the former Celtics star through his playoff run last season.
For Thomas, who has admitted he grew up such a huge fan of Bryant’s that he wants to keep his sneaker legacy alive in the league, getting coached and then later welcomed by Bryant has to be a dream come true, and a dream endorsement to help sell his addition to Lakers fans.
Thomas only has a handful of games to get back to his old ways, and might not be able to do so. But if he can, Bryant won’t be the only one saying he likes seeing him on the Lakers.
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