About 45 minutes after the Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in Phoenix on Sunday night, Kobe Bryant walked out of the trainers' area of the visiting locker room and spoke his mind about how his employers are handling possible trade discussions involving Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Gasol has been the subject of many trade rumors recently and was part of the aborted deal before the season that would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers.
According to Kobe, it's hard for Gasol to "invest himself completely or immerse himself completely in the game with all this trade talk."
This was clearly on Bryant's mind as he initiated the discussion and then went on to make his point in no uncertain terms.
"I wish management would come out and either trade him or not trade him," he said.
"I'd rather for them to not trade him at all. If they want to do something, I wished they'd just fucking do it, and if they're not going to do it come out and say you're not going to do it. ...This way he can be comfortable and he can go out and he can perform and he can play and invest all of himself into (the team)."
Bryant added that he thinks the core group of himself, Gasol and Andrew Bynum can be a championship contender with "some tweaks here and there," but, "you can't have one of our pillars not knowing if he's going to be here or not."
Bryant said Gasol has been a "consummate professional" through all the trade talks, but it's only natural for the uncertainty to affect Gasol.
"Do something. One way or another, do something," Bryant said.
Here's video of Bryant talking to the media about the game. He brings up the Gasol situation.