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Kobe Bryant is not happy.
One of his closest friends on the Lakers, Lamar Odom, was traded Saturday night to Dallas for a first-round pick in the 2012 amateur draft, depriving the Lakers of their top rebounder and a solid character guy in the locker room.
“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.”
“Especially to them,” Bryant said. “We were supposed to come back and get them back, know what I mean?”
Read more at L.A. Times.com