Bryant’s attention seems to be on that other team

IT WAS so exciting, the Lakers being introduced Tuesday night at the same time the Bulls were trying to prove they could win a game this season without the Kobester.

Corey Maggette, who might very well end up a Bull, a Laker, or anything other than a Clipper, hit a free throw and now Chicago had only a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter.

And so it went, back and forth and I don’t know what TV he was watching, but the Kobester must have had an eye on what was going on in Chicago, because he certainly wasn’t involved in anything the Lakers were doing.

It was 18-8 New Orleans and the Kobester hadn’t taken a shot, proving his point the Lakers aren’t much unless he does.


The Clippers, meanwhile, were handing the Bulls their fourth straight defeat -- four games into the season, Chicago executives probably putting together an offer for the Kobester that now includes everyone on their roster, Alfonso Soriano, Brian Urlacher and the Picasso.

If the Lakers agreed to such a trade, at least it would give Phil Jackson one more chance to coach the Bulls albeit in Lakers uniforms.

It’s probably time once again for ESPN’s Ric Bucher to weigh in with another bogus report to go with an earlier prediction the Kobester would never again wear a Lakers uniform. He also had the Lakers getting Ron Artest and Ben Wallace as part of a three-team trade for the Kobester.

If the Lakers took Artest and Wallace for the Kobester, Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss and Jerry Buss -- probably having to pay someone to sit next to him and there’s something to be said about having previous experience with such things -- would be the only ones at court-side.

Come on, it’s time for the nonsense to stop. The Lakers aren’t going to trade the Kobester.

No way, no how can they get what he’s worth in return, so why does everyone continue to pretend like it still might happen?

It’s become a wasted effort in “what ifs,” every one of them shot down by the lack of logic -- the Lakers needing a superstar in return and the Kobester going to a team that would be left devastated by what it took to make a deal to get him.

So stop it already. The Kobester doesn’t like the Lakers’ brass, and who can argue? -- and the Lakers’ brass is sick of the Kobester, and who can argue?

I’m not sure they ever partied together, so who cares?

Sure, it would be nice if the Kobester grew up and put a stop to everything, but the fact is he’s never going to grow up. He responded to his teammates’ spurt of shockingly good play against Phoenix and Utah by saying it’s early. Nice pat on the back.

But whatever, it doesn’t matter. The Lakers are going to play on, the Kobester going nowhere but already getting a lift at times from Vladimir Radmanovic, Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton and Ronny Turiaf.

The Bulls should be so good.

I BEGAN TUESDAY’S weekly press teasing with Pete Carroll by asking, “Why is your offense so boring?”

I wasted a good four hours, seven if you take into account arriving early and eight if you consider the drive home, just to watch the Trojans sit on the ball and go nowhere.

“Got a lot of guys in here working every day, working really hard at their beats,” Carroll said, a grin setting the stage for another tit-for-tat news briefing. “One guy asks the questions. I couldn’t hear the question. What was that?”

“Why is your offense so boring?” I repeated.

“I don’t know how to address that, because I don’t see it as boring at all,” Carroll said. “I see it as the offense trying to get it right and trying to be really productive and use our guys well.

“I think our play was a little bit off last week in bringing John David Booty back after a month. It showed, and hopefully we’ll come back sharp this week and give us good play. Does anybody else ask any questions today?”

I said something like, “This is like a Phil Jackson press conference,” and Carroll said, “I’ve never been to one,” and he really does have it good in L.A.

Then I asked, “Hasn’t your offense been off all year long?”

“Is anybody else going to ask any questions?” Carroll said, which would have required them to stop eating their free lunch.

“We have the chance to be a really good offense,” Carroll said, and how could anyone avoid not raising their hand and asking another question?

The Trojans have played only two teams with winning records, going 1-1, while taking on seven other crummy opponents with a combined mark of 19-47.

“You’ve played a lot of crummy teams -- what makes you think the offense is going to turn it around now?” I asked without raising my hand, lest he use it as an excuse to send me off to the bathroom.

“First of all,” Carroll said, “if I answer that opening, I have to agree with you. So I’m not going to do that. . . . “

The best defense, of course, is a good offense, and the way things are going around here these days, any kind of offense from USC was good to see.

JACKSON SAID he likes the way Joe Torre manages a team, which led into a discussion about his own baseball career. He said he began as a baseball coach, his team winning two championships, prompting the obvious Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen/Shaquille O’Neal/Kobe Bryant question: “Did you have the best players?”

JACKSON WAS a pitcher, and when asked if he could hit, he said, “I don’t think I ever hit under .300.”

“Slow-pitch softball?” I said, and he let the door close behind him.

TODAY’S LAST word comes in e-mail from Mani Ghazvini:

“I don’t understand your continued, undaunted support of UCLA and constant, blatant denigration of USC. Either you’re utterly biased or just not a very good journalist.”

I don’t think I’m biased.


T.J. Simers can be reached at To read previous columns by Simers, go to