"According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the event, the Lakers once contacted the Cavs to investigate whether Cleveland would make James available in a possible Bryant trade." Of course this is an ESPN piece.
Oh wow! What should we talk about before Kobe's last game in Cleveland? It's such a big deal, we need to have a story for every one of his last games in each city. Oh you know what's crazy!? One time like 10 years ago the Lakers and Cavs totally potentially allegedly once brought up the possibility of maybe trading Kobe for LeBron. I mean, the trade obviously never happened, but could you imagine if it did, which it didn't? I swear we're not telling everyone about this for-some-reason-secret-until-now trade proposal talk just because we need a story to make this even semi-interesting in the Kobe's-AARP-farewell-tour/LeBron-is-not-going-to-win-another-title-this-year-because-Golden-State-and-San-Antonio 2016 season. No, seriously, we totally swear that some sources 100% say they know about this happening. Well, you know, not like the trade actually happening, like talking about the idea of this trade happening. Could you even imagine what that would be like, though, if that trade did go through?
Hmm, let's see, can I imagine what it would be like? LeBron would be cycling through other players and coaches because he's totally never the off-piece of the puzzle in LA, because no basketball team really needs passing. Kobe would betray his hometown, go do this big look-at-me "We Did It" conference in Miami, win two titles there, somehow find the inspiration to come back home to, come back home, not win the title, and then try and secretly run the entire team as it falls apart around him. LeBron would be dragging out his career for way too long. Kobe would be watching his prime years fade away, just like his hairline. A bunch of stuff would happen in the world of shoes just like it already did.
This is such a dumb story and I hate this stuff. Even if it did get talked about, the trade never happened. I don't care and I don't care about the hypotheticals. All kinds of high-profile trades get talked about all the time. It's professional sports. Teams aren't married to all their stars. Teams and players alike aren't families, they're businesses. Businesses interested in what's best for them. If a transaction happens, then it happens. If it doesn't, then it doesn't. When it doesn't happen it doesn't matter, because what-ifs are garbage and that's not how sports work. People can talk about the trade rumor all they want, just understand that it's no different than talking about if Romney won, if the 49ers took Aaron Rodgers instead of Alex Smith, or if Seattle ran it at the end of the game in 2015's Super Bowl. We'll never know because none of it ever happened.
Move on and move over, Kobe and LeBron. Neither of you have any answers for what's actually happening right now: Golden State and San Antonio.