The Lakers tried to trade for Kobe Bryant’s breakfast buddy, Rajon Rondo, but the Mavericks wound up with the former Celtics point guard.
So, after the Lakers had inquired about a Rondo trade but ultimately lacked the assets to pull one off, was he disappointed to see him head for Dallas?
“Oh yeah,” said Bryant, who has insisted that he plans on retiring after next season. “Of course. Of course. But all you can do is control what you can control. We did our part. We did what we could…It’s not from a lack of effort. It’s not from a lack of smarts, so I trust the process. It’s hard going through this (expletive), but our management will figure it out.”
“I really do trust management,” he reiterated to USA TODAY Sports. “I mean I really, really do. They’ll get things turned around pretty quickly. I’m not really concerned about that.”
Kobe has come a long way since the spring, when he expressed a “selfish” desire for the Lakers to contend during the final two years of his contract. He really seems to understand it’s unrealistic for the Lakers to instantly build a contender, and trying to do so would only set them back further.
Specifically, trading for Rondo would have been a disaster.
The Mavericks are getting two things from the trade – Rondo’s production the rest of this season and the inside track at re-signing Rondo this offseason. The Lakers – who are out of the playoff race – would have benefited from only the latter, and it would have been imprudent for them to match what Dallas gave up to get both.
Essentially, Kobe’s patience allows the Lakers to avoid acting like idiots.