Kobe Bryant on Lamar Odom Trade: ‘I Don’t Like it’

When the Los Angeles Lakers traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks late last night, in what was essentially a salary-clearing move, everyone was stunned. Including Kobe Bryant, who told reporters at Media Day today that he’s no fan of the move. Per the LA Times: “I don’t like it,’ Bryant said Sunday. ‘I’ve known Lamar for a long time, and for the team itself, he’s meant a lot in terms of his versatility, his personality. He’s a big presence for us in the locker room, just from a team chemistry standpoint. He’s great at bringing guys together and things of that nature. I trust management knows what they’re doing. I let them do their jobs, I never get in the way but it’s tough. You’re talking about sixth man of the year last year. He played lights out.’ Odom, 32, averaged 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds last season. Bryant wasn’t buying into speculation that Odom’s off-the-court activities were distractions, including a burgeoning reality-TV career with wife Khloe Kardashian. ‘I don’t understand the criticism of [the] reality shows. I don’t get it. 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.’ Bryant also didn’t like that Odom was sent to the Mavericks, who eliminated the Lakers in last season’s playoffs with a sweep in the Western Conference semifinals. ‘Especially to them,’ Bryant said. ‘We were supposed to come back and get them back, know what I mean?’ … The Lakers could try to package the traded-player exception to get a better player than Odom, but Bryant isn’t counting on that. ‘I’m not thinking that at all,’ he said. Bryant had one last salvo, which he said with a smile. ‘I don’t think Mark Cuban’s protesting this trade,’ he said.”