After the news that Lamar Odom had been traded from the Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks late Saturday evening many of the current Lakers players were surprised by the decision.
During Media Day on Sunday some of those players expressed their displeasure. The most notable player was Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who was very candid when discussing his opinion of the trade.
“I don’t like it. 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.”
There’s no question that Odom was a big contributor to the Lakers last season. He averaged 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds, and won his first Sixth Man of the Year award in 2011.
As Bryant stated, “[Odom] played lights out.”
It seems that losing Odom wasn’t the only thing bothering Bryant about the trade, but also who he got traded to. The Lakers suffered their first playoff series loss since 2008 when they were swept by the Mavericks in the Western Conference Semi-Finals last season. Bryant, always the vindictive player, was looking forward to getting a little bit of revenge against Dallas this season.
“Especially to them,” Bryant said. “We were supposed to come back and get them back, know what I mean?”
Bryant did go on to say that it is a business, and that trades are part of the nature of basketball. He also expressed his faith in general manager Mitch Kupchak, as well as the rest of the Lakers front office.
“I trust management knows what they’re doing. I let them do their jobs”
As for Bryant’s job, expect him to be ready when the Lakers open the 2011-12 season on Christmas against the Chicago Bulls.