Tyler Radecki
Tuesday February 21st, 2012

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak responded to Kobe Bryant’s comments after last night’s game regarding trade rumors and Pau Gasol, according to NBA.com.

“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.”

After last night’s game, Bryant said the trade rumors were negatively affecting teammate Pau Gasol:

“Personally I don’t understand that crap,” Bryant said. “But it is what it is. It’s important for him to know we support him. I support him especially. I just want him to go out there and play hard and do what he does best for us.” Bryant made the comments after Gasol was just 4-for-13 with 10 points against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Gasol was a part of the planned trade for Chris Paul that was nixed by the league office two months ago.

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