In an interview with Jim Rome on Monday Kobe Bryant expressed his continued displeasure about the trading of Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks.
Earlier this week Odom was dealt to the NBA champions for a first round draft pick and a trade exemption. The deal was reportedly at the behest of Odom, who requested a trade in the aftermath of revelations from days earlier that he was about to be traded to New Orleans in a deal for Chris Paul. The Paul trade ultimately fell through.
Asked about his feelings regarding the loss of the sixth man of the year, Bryant didn’t hedge:
They’ve got a job to do upstairs and you’ve got to trust them that they know what they’re doing… that said, it’s tough to see any of your players, especially Lamar leave for virtually nothing.
Although he said that he personally would not have made the Odom deal, Bryant seemed to understand that it’s not his place to make personnel decisions for Los Angeles. A theme he repeated multiple times: the NBA is a business where players, owners and executives each have a job to do, so try not to take it personally when hard decisions go down.
When Rome questioned Bryant about whether or not he would have made the Chris Paul trade that was on the brink of happening earlier this week (which would have sent away Odom and Pau Gasol) Bryant remained non-committal. While praising Paul he also made clear that Pau and Lamar were “his guys”.
On the positive side, Kobe said he was very impressed by what he’s seen from coach Mike Brown so far. Brown’s hard working, detail oriented approach seems to have won Bryant over.