Lakers News: Coach D’Antoni ‘Surprised’ By Steve Blake Trade

Mere minutes before the tip-off of tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets, news broke that the Lakers had traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors.

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Though there was speculation of this trade happening, it still came as a surprise, especially so close to game time. Coach Mike D’Antoni spoke to the media about Blake after the game on Time Warner Cable SportsNet:

Blake was described as the ‘heart and soul’ of this Lakers team. He continually rose to the occasion when injuries forced him into a larger role, and everyone on the team loved him.

Blake enjoyed being in Los Angeles as well and you could see that he was legitimately hurt about being traded. Coaches always love gritty, hard-nosed players and Blake was that kind of guy for the Lakers.

D’Antoni often preferred Blake to guard the top ballhandler on the opposing team, so losing a player like him will hurt. But with the Lakers getting back two more young wings, he will have some more options.

The deal did a lot to move the Lakers closer to getting under the luxury tax line which is a goal for the team before this season ends.
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