Kobe Bryant Comments on 2011 Lockout, Chris Paul Trade in GQ Interview

Kobe Bryant hasn't been able to do anything on the basketball court this year, so he's making up for it by reflecting on a lot of his career in recent weeks.

The Los Angeles Lakers star did an interview with Chuck Klosterman of GQ Magazine, touching on a vast array of topics from his personality on the court to his inability to be a "great friend."

However, the most interesting points of Bryant's interview are what he has to say about the most recent NBA lockout in 2011. 

Bryant arrives on the topic by first answering a question on whether the Lakers will be capable of competing for a title next year. He cites things that ownership and the front office tell him, noting they are "hell-bent about having a championship caliber team next season."

Klosterman then asks if that's even possible since there are certain financial limits teams must adhere to, which led Bryant to respond with this:

Well, okay: Look at the [2011] lockout. That lockout was made to restrict the Lakers. It was. I don't care what any other owner says. It was designed to restrict the Lakers and our marketability.


...Everything that was done with that lockout was to restrict the Lakers' ability to get players and to create a sense of parity, for the San Antonios of the world and the Sacramentos of the world.

As Bryant's answer continued, he brought up the league-vetoed Chris Paul trade and how that was part of the NBA trying to keep Los Angeles down:

Even with those restrictions, the Lakers pulled off a trade [for Chris Paul] that immediately set us up for a championship, a run of championships later, and which saved money. Now, the NBA vetoed that trade. But the Lakers pulled that s*** off, and no one would have thought it was even possible. The trade got vetoed, because they'd just staged the whole lockout to restrict the Lakers. Mitch got penalized...

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