An ESPN report surfaced Thursday that said the Lakers, among other teams, are already trying to pursue Miami superstar LeBron James, who can opt out of his contract after two more seasons with the Heat.
James responded to that report Thursday, saying that it even caught him off guard.
"That story, I don't know where it came from, but I understand why it came up because of who I am -- it's going to happen," James told reporters after Miami's first preseason home game. "But I'm not going to worry about it. I've got to continue to stay focused with these guys and make sure we're ready for any challenges that come."
Multiple NBA executives told ESPN that the Lakers could get James if Bryant follows through with his claim that he wants to retire when his Lakers contract expires after the 2013-14 season.
If Bryant does call it quits at that time, the Lakers could potentially have the salary-cap space to offer James a maximum deal.
James was not too concerned by the speculation about his future.
"I'm here, and this is what it's all about," James said of the Heat. "I'm preparing for this season, preparing to defend our title and that's it. This is where ... I'm here now."