Kobe Bryant’s best move of the season came in the visitor’s locker room in Phoenix

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Kobe Bryant’s best move of the season didn’t come against a double-team, or with the clock ticking down. It came in the visitor’s locker room in Phoenix, when he voiced his displeasure with management for letting Pau Gasol dangle in the trade winds all season.

Except … only the Los Angeles Lakers could turn a show of support into evidence of division. Kobe’s vocal outburst was his strongest statement on behalf of his struggling teammate. But general manager Mitch Kupchak’s response, via a team-issued statement, showed the disconnect between the front office and the team’s star.

“As a former player, I understand how the days leading up to the trade deadline can be nerve-wracking for an NBA player,” Kupchak said in the statement released before the Lakers’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night. “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 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.”

Full Story: Backing Gasol is Kobe’s good move