Kobe Bryant is starting the season on the inactive list. All signs pointed that he would play in tonight's opener against the Rockets, but when the league released official rosters Monday, listing active and inactive players, there was Kobe, along with Lamar Odom, on the inactive list. He had a knee issue earlier in training camp and a wrist injury at the tail end.
So is Kobe really hurt? Or is it his feelings that are hurt after coach Phil Jackson was the latest to verbally rub the disgruntled star the wrong way?
Kobe Sweepstakes talk certainly intensified over the weekend with reports that the Lakers and Bulls were in hot talks, but couldn't come to an agreement. Detroit was listed as a possible suitor and Washington made an appearance with its star Gilbert Arenas possibly going West. Wiz president Ernie Grunfeld has since shot down those rumors.
The one team that has not been on the rumor hot plate lately has been the Mavs. Owner Mark Cuban, now free of his Dancing With the Stars obligations, is free to wheel-and-deal, but he appears to be sitting pat. At last week's owners meetings in NY, he said he had not discussed Kobe with LA owner Jerry Buss.
Asked again if all is as quiet as it appears, Cuban responded Tuesday morning: "Nothing new on Kobe."
-- Jeff Caplan