Steve Blake returning to Los Angeles with Warriors

Kobe Bryant was annoyed.

Really, really annoyed.

The Lakers traded Steve Blake before the February deadline, immediately sending a dissatisfied Bryant to Twitter.

He said he was "not cool" with the trade "AT ALL," hitting caps lock for effect and also calling Blake a "psycho competitor."

Blake is still appreciative two months later. He'll play with his new team, Golden State, against the Lakers in his return Friday to Staples Center.

"Whenever you have support like that from a teammate, it feels great, especially from one of the greatest," Blake said in a phone interview. "I've developed a great relationship with him and we both love competing. It was a sad day to leave good friends like that in a place where you've had a lot of battles."

The trade saved the Lakers about $4 million in salary and luxury taxes but didn't necessarily mean a final goodbye to Blake. He will be a free agent in July.

When he was traded, a stunned Blake said he would "absolutely, definitely" consider coming back to the Lakers. He declined to comment on it now that he's with the Warriors, saying his new team had been "extremely supportive and helpful."

But there's no denying Blake misses Los Angeles, specifically Manhattan Beach, where his wife and three young sons have remained after the trade so the kids wouldn't have to change schools.

"It's one of the best places to live in the country," he said. "Of course you miss that. Mostly I miss just being with my wife and kids. I'm a family man who wants to be home with them."

Blake, 34, was on his way to a career year, averaging 9.5 points and 7.6 assists with the Lakers. He is down to four points and 3.3 assists with Golden State, lodged firmly behind All-Star point guard Stephen Curry.

"It's very different," Blake said. "I was playing a lot of minutes with the Lakers and now it's probably around 15 or 20, maybe more depending on the game. But as long as I'm doing something productive to help the team, stats don't really matter."

Another big difference β€” the Warriors are a playoff-caliber team. The Lakers were eliminated four weeks ago.

Nash not done?

After climbing to third place on the NBA's all-time assists list Tuesday, Steve Nash said he aggravated the nerve root issue in his back that kept him out of so many games.

But he still hopes to play before the end of this season.

"Steve said he feels a lot better," said Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni. "As soon as he thinks he can play, he wants to β€” and he will."

Young optimistic

Nick Young implied he would become a free agent by declining a $1.2-million player option but said he would love to re-sign with the Lakers.

"Most definitely," he said. "I'm very confident. I think we're going to come to some kind of agreement. Hopefully it happens. We just have to see what they're going to do."

Young has had a good year statistically, averaging a team-high 17.5 points, but wished the Lakers (25-53) had a better record.

"I want to be here and be a part of a team that's going to the playoffs and fighting for championships," he said. "We didn't get a chance to get that β€” being a part of the Laker parade, having my own little speech like [Shaquille O'Neal] did, 'Can you dig it?'"

Kaman sorry

Chris Kaman admitted he regretted recently shaving his thick beard.

"It was a mistake is what it was. I'm going to grow it back," he said. "Next year you'll see me an old Grizzly Adams."

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

Twitter: @EricPincus

Bresnahan is a Times staff writer. Pincus is a Times correspondent.


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