In response to comments made by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol after last night’s game against the Phoenix Suns, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak issued the following statement today:
“As a former player, I understand how the days leading up to the trade deadline can be nerve-wracking for an NBA player. Nonetheless, as General Manager of the Lakers, I have a responsibility to ownership, our fans and the players on this team to actively pursue opportunities to improve the team for this season and seasons to come. To say publicly that we would not do this would serve no purpose and put us at a competitive disadvantage. Taking such a course of action at this time would be a disservice to ownership, the team and our many fans.
According to the Los Angeles Times Blog, Kobe had said the following: “It’s just tough for a player to give his all when you don’t know if you’re going to be here tomorrow. I’d rather them not trade him at all but if they’re going to do something, I wish they would just … do it.”