Current Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant whipped the voracious New York media into a frenzy earlier in the week when he stated that he would make a recruiting visit to New York if the Knicks extend an invitation when the free-agency courting period begins in three weeks. All it would take is a call from GM Isiah Thomas. "I'm going to listen to all options. If he invites me, I'll be there," said Bryant.

But before you go to Modells to start searching for a Kobe jersey in blue and orange, keep a few things in mind. Kobe didn't say that he wanted to play for the Knicks, he just said he would listen to what Isiah has to say. Also, since the Knicks are astronomically over the salary cap, all they can offer Kobe is their $5 million Mid Level Exception unless Bryant is obtained in a sign and trade transaction which would most likely involve the Lakers getting Stephon Marbury in return, but it's highly unlikely. There will be as many as four teams under the salary cap this summer and any of them could offer Bryant as much as $7 million more per year than the Knicks could.

It is interesting to note, however, that this is not the first time the Knicks and Lakers have discussed a trade involving bringing Kobe to the East Coast. The NY Post reports that deposed GM Scott Layden made a bid for Bryant last summer by dangling Allan Houston. "There were people from both sides who wanted to do it and didn't want to do it," the source said. "I don't think Jerry Buss will ever trade Kobe Bryant."