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.
- PBT Second Round Playoff Preview: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Houston Rockets 6
- Ginobili, Duncan, Popovich dance around questions about Spurs’ future 7
- Reports: Stephen Curry to be named MVP Monday 34
- Hawks start hot, finish cold, Wizards take Game 1 on road 104-98. 7
- PBT Second-Round Playoff Preview: Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks 4
- Adjusting for playoff rotations round two: Watch out for the Wizards 2
- Hobbled Chris Paul, Clippers’ role players do just enough to dethrone Spurs in Game 7 20
- Chris Paul banks in game winner to lift Clippers past Spurs (VIDEO) 32