When Derek Fisher was traded to the Houston Rockets, a lot of people said things like, “How could the Lakers trade Kobe’s only friend on the team?” and “Oooohhh, Kobe’s going to be mad they traded his friend,” which is hilarious because it imagines a world where Kobe Bryant cares about having friends on a basketball team. (And maybe even about having friends at all.) Good one, jokesters.
Want proof that he doesn’t care? Here you go, from ESPN:
“Look, we don’t get five championships by being sympathetic towards each other and kissing each other’s a– during the game,” Bryant said Wednesday when asked about the Lakers’ upcoming game against the Thunder next week. “I’m going to demolish him. He understands that. If he switches off on me in the post, there’s going to be problems. I’m sure he’ll put an elbow right in my back, and that’s why we love each other.”
Pretty much exactly what you’d expect. The second Derek Fisher put on that No. 37 jersey, Kobe Bryant hated him just as much as any other non-Laker, which is even more than he hates any non-Kobe Laker.
Maybe Fisher was Kobe’s strictly on-court basketball friend for the majority of their careers, but if you think he cares one bit that the Lakers traded away a bad player while getting back cap space to acquire a better player for the future, then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you on an adjustable rate mortgage and then jack up the rates to make some serious money. Kobe sees teammates as either guys who can help him or those who can’t, and he doesn’t even see non-teammates. If losing a guy he’s been around means the Lakers are going to have a better shot at the title, then I’d guess Kobe is OK with that. Scratch that. He’d encourage it.
Friends are for normal people. Kobe cares about getting that sixth ring way more than he cares about how he should act when he sees Derek Fisher on the Oklahoma City bench. I’m sure he’ll pull the hug and fake smile in pregame, but as soon as the ball is in the air, Kobe is going to want to murder Derek Fisher, just like he would anyone else on any other team. Should be pretty fun for us to watch, assuming there are no real deaths.