SACRAMENTO — The rumors and innuendo that is floated out in advance of trade deadlines often shies away from fact and also the human element behind all those names.
Tonight, the Warriors dealt with something very real. Shortly before the game, popular bench player Kent Bazemore was informed that he was soon to be officially traded. His teammates, while pleased to get Steve Blake in return, got emotional seeing the source of some of the positive locker room energy depart so suddenly.
“If you’re a Warrior fan, you know who he is and how energetic he is and how much he loves this team and this city,” Stephen Curry said. “I’m sure a lot of Bazemore fans hate to see him go.
“He has a great opportunity to go to LA, a team that obviously is struggling, but people pay attention to what they’re doing. I’m certain he’ll get time to shine this last bit of the season and hopefully showcase exactly what he can do for an NBA team, and hopefully his future is bright regardless of where he ends up.”
The Warriors thought the Lakers would be a good opportunity for Bazemore, with David Lee saying his former coach, Mike D’Antoni, “does great things with point guards.”
Bazemore went from an undrafted rookie to carving out an identity through his play in the Summer League in the eyes of league executives and through fans through his demonstrative celebrations on the bench.
“He gave his heart and soul,” coach Mark Jackson said. “It makes it tough to make trades, but this is a business.
“KB has been here during the tough times. He was here when we were just dreaming to be good.”
Now the Warriors are good and in a sign for how tables have turned traded with the storied but struggling Lakers to possibly get better by a noticeable amount. Blake is a veteran who can handle the ball and shoot and can take a load off Curry and Klay Thompson.
Can the Warriors do even more before the noon deadline? General manager Bob Myers said he is certainly listening, so we’ll have to see.