Kobe Bryant and the Lakers will be a better team as a result of this past weeks trades.
That's because Kobe Bryant enters each season with one goal. To win an NBA Championship. The moves that the Lakers made at the trade deadline were not made to ensure that Kobe Bryant has a team made up of his closest friends.
The moves were made to ensure that Kobe Bryant has a team constructed to make the best possible run at a ring this June.
That means long-time teammates such as Derek Fisher and Luke Walton are both gone. It also means that talented and athletic Ramon Sessions is now in Los Angeles to give a needed boost in talent at the point guard position. It also means that Jordan Hill is now wearing purple and gold in an effort to provide the two Lakers' big men a needed backup
Sure there are things about the trades that Kobe doesn't like, but not many things in life are totally black-and-white.
On a whole, if Kobe could return things to the way they were in Los Angeles pre-trade, he would be unlikely to do so. Bryant understands the nature of the business and he understands that from a raw talent standpoint, the Lakers are better post-trade deadline than they were pre-trade deadline.
It's important to remember just how long Kobe Bryant has been in the NBA. He was a rookie in the 1996-1997 season. That means he's lost teammates that he loved and some he didn't love, but more than anything else, he understands that the important interpersonal relationships forged while teammates, won't be negated by an individuals change in address.
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"I don't get that sentimental about it," Bryant said. "I texted him (Thursday) and we kind of had a laugh about it because he knows how I am. We just talked about the good times and what a fun time it was to go to battle together and things like that, but that's about as sentimental as I'm going to get."- ESPN Los Angeles 3/17/12
The changes are, of course, very recent. The final verdict on these trades won't be able to be properly evaluated until this season and even next season have played out. There's no question that Bryant is not jumping for joy over Fisher's departure.
"Very difficult," Bryant said. "I'm not used to it because I've been with him my entire career, aside from that little stint that he had away from us. So, it's very different for me. It's pretty weird." -Hoopsvibe 3/18/12
"Weird" and "difficult" aren't indictments of the trade. They're merely candid personal assessments of how Kobe feels about being without the presence of Derek Fisher on his team after 13 seasons and five NBA titles together.
That doesn't mean he's not happy about bringing Ramon Sessions aboard either.
"Extremely fast, extremely crafty and just in the conversations that I had with him out on the floor about execution and things like that, he seems to have a really high basketball IQ," - Kobe Bryant ESPN Los Angeles 3/17/12
For Kobe Bryant, NBA basketball is ultimately about winning championships. The trades of this past week give the Lakers a better chance to do that this season and next. While that's not the only thing that matters, it's the most important. And for Kobe Bryant, another NBA title would insure that the trades made in the past week are accompanied by good and not bad memories.