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Kobe Bryant trade rumors mount, so do the denials

Kobe Bryant denies a trade deal is cooking at the Lakers as the rumors continue to build up.

Kobe Bryant trade rumors mount, so do the denials On Tuesday the L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant sat on the benches during practice for yet one more time - third consecutive, to be exact. Lakers coach Phil Jackson is claiming that the sit-out was by a mutual agreement and the Kobe asked the coach to "let him rest his legs". This statement did nothing to calm down the raging rumors that a deal for a Kobe Bryant trade is in the works (or even already cooked).

 "My job is to play the game and get ready to play the game. That's what I'm doing. I guess people are just intrigued by what's going on around here. I understand that. I have a job to do. One thing I said at training camp was that I didn't want this to be a distraction," Kobe told reporters during a brief interview outside of the Lakers' practice building. In May Kobe Bryant asked the Los Angeles Lakers to trade him, but he managed to keep quiet on this subject, until the beginning of the training camp, when Kobe gave a few interviews saying that he was looking forward to the start of the season with the Lakers. Now missing three practice days in a row, it seems more and more likely that Kobe Bryant will be playing for another NBA team soon.

 Phil Jackson dodged the media questions saying: "There's certain things that have to be discussed and I think they will be. There's nothing imminent. I'm on the inside of this, so I know all the statements before you ask the questions. We can't project anything right now. I think there's a certain progression of things we have to go through." He also said that it has not been decided yet if Bryant will play the SuperSonics on Thursday.

 Published on 10/16/2007

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