Kobe Bryant had his say about the Lakers’ decision to trade Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round draft pick late Saturday night:
“I don’t like it. To be honest with you, I don’t like it. I’ve known Lamar for a long time and for the team itself, he’s meant a lot. From a team chemistry standpoint, he was great at bringing guys together and things of that nature. I trust that management knows what they’re doing. I’ll let them do their jobs. I won’t get in the way of it.
“It’s tough. You’re talking about the Sixth Man of the Year last year. He played lights out. I don’t understand the criticism of the reality shows and this and that. I don’t get it. I don’t understand that. He had his best season last year. It clearly wasn’t a distraction. He played his ass off. I don’t get where that comes from. Now, I’m getting pissed off. Especially (trading Odom) to them (Dallas). We were supposed to get them back. Do I think we got too little? Who did we get? I don’t think Mark Cuban is protesting this trade.
“You’ve got to let Mitch (Kupchak) do his job (as the Lakers’ general manager). Mitch has proven himself over the course of the years that he’s been able to build a great team here. We all have to trust that he’s going to do that. That being said, it’s still hard to see one of my friends and one of our great players go somewhere, especially to that team seemingly for nothing. Now whether they have something else going on, that’s on them. But it’s tough. It’s tough. I talked to (Odom) a little bit two nights ago. I haven’t spoken to him since this latest news, but I will.
“It’s tough to lose Lamar. Pau (Gasol) is still here and we’re thankful for that. It’s hard when you’ve been through so many battles to see them go someplace else. It’s tough. It’s tough. It’s the nature of the business and we all understand that. At the same time it still hard.”