Sometimes we find ourselves so caught up in this world of professional athletics that we forget one of the fundamental tenets: There's rarely much reason to pay attention to what an athlete says. Kobe Bryant is preternaturally skilled at the sport of basketball; this does not mean anything he says has much inherent value. If he were paid to have sentient, linear thoughts, he'd do something other than play basketball.
Just to recap, Kobe changed his mind at least four times in 24 hours yesterday, going from "trade me" to "don't trade me" to "trade me" to "I'll take Jm J. Bullock for the block," depending on what radio station he happened to be talking to. Unfortunately for all of us, the one he did happen to be talking to when he made the "trade me" was ESPN Radio, which meant, right quick, everything exploded.
You have to feel a little bad for ESPN; once Kobe told STEPHEN A. SMITH the "news," the four letter word network went into scorched earth mode, covering the possibilities from every possible angle (they even trotted out Simmons!). And then, when Kobe changed his mind again, they were stuck with this expansive story package ... and no story. It happens. Honestly, they can really treat the whole thing like a pre-written obit for a famous person who is about to die; whenever Kobe switches to "trade me" mode again, as will inevitably happen, they can just run all the stories then, again. Why let all that work go to waste?