Feb 20, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT
If the Lakers were going to make a run to the playoffs once Kobe Bryant returns from injury, Steve Blake would have played a key role. A quality outside shooter who competes defensively, Blake added to that roster.
Of course, the Lakers were never going to make the playoffs this season.
That’s why they traded Blake to the Warriors for salary relief and younger players. Smart general managers identify their position, even if it’s dismal, and react to it.
But Kobe Bryant isn’t a general manager. He’s a player who sees things differently, who views moves through the eyes of a competitor who never gives up.
This can be read a number of ways, and “Kobe’s mad” has been a popular interpretation. I don’t see it that way, though. I think this is just his way of expressing his respect for Blake.
The Lakers gave Kobe a generous extension, and while that doesn’t obligate him to agree with every move they make, I sense he’s willing to go along with the plan. The Lakers are doing this for Kobe. They’re better-positioning themselves to contend in the next two seasons.
Kobe will miss Blake, as he should. But the Lakers are better off, and I suspect Kobe knows that too – even if his 140-character goodbyes carry a conflictive tone.
- Kevin Durant reiterates that rest was his reason for withdrawing from Team USA 0
- Kobe Bryant says he will not be same player as before, says he’s evolved into something equally good 6
- Report: Agent for Greg Monroe pursued sign-and-trade deals with five teams, including Thunder and Blazers 21
- Derrick Rose sits out another Team USA practice, not likely to start Wednesday 20
- DeMarcus Cousins practices with team USA Tuesday, says he’s 50-50 for Wednesday game 2
- Jim Boeheim says of Carmelo Anthony, “it would have been better to go to Chicago” 31
- Steve Ballmer screams like a maniac at Clippers rally 26
- Thibodeau calls Team USA “perfect setting” for Derrick Rose to make return 6