Kobe Bryant reacts to Anthony Davis’ trade demand
Kobe Bryant is among the lucky professional athletes who enjoyed a long career with only one organization, having played 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
One would imagine someone with his perspective may view Anthony Davis’ demand that the New Orleans Pelicans trade him as a demonstration of disloyalty. However, the Los Angeles Lakers icon does not necessarily see it that way.
Davis’ ultimate exodus out of New Orleans — whether it is ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline or in the coming offseason — began Monday when his agent indicated the superstar will not sign an extension with the Pelicans and wants to be traded.
Bryant noted loyalty is a two-way street, and the way the NBA works means players need to do what benefits them the most, arguing that’s exactly how teams operate.
. #Kobe on #AnthonyDavis getting fined for his trade request “At the 1st sign they can improve they (teams) will cast you aside…….players should definitely have the right to speak up and control their fate, it’s only fair” WATCH #Lakers #NBA @AntDavis23 @Power106LA pic.twitter.com/3vhkSo3G1s— Jeff G the SportsDude (@TheSportsDude) January 31, 2019
“Players, they have the freedom to speak their piece,” Bryant said, as transcribed by Clutch Points. “Listen, management certainly does that. I’ve been very lucky to play with the Lakers, a class organization who takes care of their players — but a lot of players aren’t that fortunate. At the first sign that (teams) can improve themselves they will cast you aside.
“You can’t just have it one way and say okay, players need to be loyal to their organizations, but not demand the same thing all the other way around. So until that day happens, players should definitely have the opportunity to speak up and control their own fate. It’s just the way it should be, it’s fair.”
It merits noting that Bryant himself requested a trade in 2007 with the hope of being dealt to the Chicago Bulls, but the Lakers declined to honor his demand. Things obviously could not have worked out better, as the Lakers won back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010, with Bryant earning MVP honors.