The little things that start trade rumors
Is Sager's Tailor a prophet? Undoubtedly. Tailor managed to predict that Ric Bucher's face was about to be plastered all over ESPN today, dispelling a rumor that Kobe Bryant had cleared out his locker in anticipation of a trade. Kobe had apparently only removed a couple items from his locker, and that was enough to give the story a massive amount of pub.
The speculation is extremely obnoxious, because this storyline is going to be bigger than the upcoming NBA season itself. It simply will not die until the February 21st trade deadline, and even after that, the talk will be all about "Where will Kobe go next year?"
In order to stop any excitement from "a Kobe trade is imminent" rumors, here are possible trade rumors that could spread based on any little mundane activity.
Scenario 1: Kobe is seen eating deep dish pizza for lunch at Taste Chicago.
Result: Los Angeles area sports talk radio claims that Kobe is trying to learn how to adapt to Chicago food, meaning Mitch Kupchak has informed him he is being traded to the Bulls.
What Ric Bucher will say on the 6 PM version of SportsCenter, followed by every 10 minutes on ESPNEWS"Kobe was merely hungry, and his agent says that he will be in uniform for tonight's game."
Scenario 2: Vanessa Bryant seen on set of Dancing with the Stars, casually talking to all the dancers and celebrities.
Result: KCAL-9 runs a Breaking News story that Vanessa Bryant is facilitating a trade to the Dallas Mavericks after a long talk with Mark Cuban.
What Ric Bucher will say on the 9 AM version of SportsCenter: "I stayed up all night to ask several sources about any possible Kobe trade movement, but I've been informed that Vanessa Bryant was only re-connecting with friends she met during her career as a dancer.
Scenario 3: Kobe Bryant is seen leaving the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo holding a soccer ball, and after a casual inquiry, tells reporters that he's going to play soccer with a new friend.
Result: The LA Times Sports section has an article that states Kobe Bryant is moving to Phoenix, and as a friendly gesture, asks Steve Nash if he wants to kick a soccer ball around.
What Ric Bucher will say -- disheveled and seething -- on the 12:30 PM edition of ESPNEWS: This is ridiculous. Why am I stuck following this guy around again? Come on. I had to drive two hours to a studio so I could come on TV to say this!