Trade for O'Neal Could Keep Kobe in LA

No, not that O'Neal
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2007 4:28 AM CDT
Trade for O'Neal Could Keep Kobe in LA
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, left, and head coach Phil Jackson go in different directions after a timeout in the closing moments of the fourth quarter of an NBA playoff basketball game in this April 22, 2007 file photo at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix. Bryant asked to be traded from the Lakers...   (Associated Press)

A day after the disgruntled Kobe Bryant demanded a trade on a New York radio show— then rescinded, after a talk with coach Phil Jackson—Post columnist Peter Vecsey claims equally frustrated Indiana star Jermaine O'Neal may be on his way to LA.  O'Neal would provide the veteran collaborator that Kobe has lacked ever since the departure of Shaq.

Shaq and Jermaine are not related. The latter O'Neal was drafted four picks after Kobe in the 1996 draft, and earns what Vecsey calls a "Kobe-like" salary.  Center and work-in-progress Andrew Bynum, a symbol of the rebuilding Kobe doesn't want during his prime, could be the big man the Lakers give up in exchange. (Read more NBA stories.)

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