After the news broke that the Los Angeles Lakers were closing in on a deal with the Golden State Warriors, Steve Blake was already changing out of his Lakers warm-ups and into his street clothes. As it usually happens, he had no idea he was going to get traded.
I had no idea. I was in my warm-ups. I was in my uniform. I was ready to go.” Steve Blake told reporters as he was exiting Staples Center. “It’s a tough situation but it is what it is and I’m ready to start something new.”
With the exception of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, Blake was the longest tenured Laker on the team, signed in 2010. The good news for Blake is that he’s joining a playoff contending team, where he could easily find himself fitting into the role similar to Jarrett Jack last season. Though Blake wasn’t certain about how he’d fit in at Golden State, he did say he had a lot of respect for the Warriors.
Wednesday evening, Blake had a chance to say goodbye to most of the Lakers staff, but not the entire team. Frazzled at the though of leaving, Blake cited being away from his family as the immediate thing on his mind. When asked if he’d ever consider coming back to Los Angeles, should the opportunity arise, Blake didn’t hesitate to say of course.
I’ve loved my time here. I always loved the support of the fans and the ownership.”
Though Mike D’Antoni doesn’t have the greatest support from the fans in LA, he definitely had Blake’s support. On his way out, Blake made sure to mention how much he enjoyed playing for D’Antoni.
I loved playing for D’Antoni. The freedom he gave me as a player to go out there and be successful I’m totally grateful for that.”
The Lakers received shooting guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks in exchange for Blake. Bazemore and Brooks are expected to be in Los Angeles in time for Lakers practice on Thursday.
VIDEO: Which Lakers CANNOT Be Traded?