HONOLULU Kobe Bryant may get his wish after all.
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss said he would consider trading Bryant, the NBA's scoring leader the past two seasons, under the right circumstances.
"I would certainly listen," Buss told three Los Angeles-area beat writers covering training camp in Honolulu on Wednesday. "At any time, I think you have to do that with anybody. It's just part of the game, to listen to somebody who has a dissatisfied player that you think is going to fit.
"You can't keep too many loyalties. You've got to look at it as a business. He looks at it the same way I look at it."
Buss spoke publicly about Bryant for the first time since the Lakers' star erupted in anger late last May, complaining about a lack of talent around him at the end of last season and asking to be traded.
Buss made his comments to reporters from the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
The Lakers won three championships and reached the NBA finals four times in five years before Shaquille O'Neal was traded to Miami in July 2004. They haven't won a playoff series since O'Neal left.
Bryant has four years worth $88.6 million left on the seven-year contract he signed a day after O'Neal was traded, but can terminate the deal in two years. If he did so, he would be leaving $47.8 million on the table.
"I tend not to think in basketball terms that many years down the road because things change so dramatically, but he could test the waters at that point," Buss said.The 29-year-old Bryant is about to begin his 12th NBA season all with the Lakers.
NEXT FOR EUROPE: David Stern is confident Europe is ready to host a regular-season NBA game.
The NBA commissioner, who watched the Boston Celtics beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 92-81 in a preseason game at London's O2 Arena, said Thursday the British capital would be the best place to start.
"There are only a handful of arenas that could undertake it, and I think that London leads that list," Stern said ahead of a doubleheader featuring the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors against Spanish league teams.Finances, including TV rights and gate receipts, are the biggest drawback, but Stern was confident the 18,500-capacity O2 Arena could offset such concerns. The London facility, which was sold out for Wednesday's game, also hosted sellout opening games of the NHL's regular season.
THOMAS HAS HEART SURGERY: Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas underwent open heart surgery Thursday at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to repair a leak of the aortic valve, an irregularity discovered during a routine physical before start of training camp. The Wizards were expected to make a statement later Thursday, and the doctor and team president Ernie Grunfeld were expected to comment Friday.
PLEA DEAL FOR STOUDAMIRE: Lawyers for NBA player Damon Stoudamire and Pima County have reached an agreement to resolve his long-standing marijuana possession case. Stoudamire, a former University of Arizona star who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, has been fighting misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia since July 2003. He was arrested after a foil packet containing a half-ounce of marijuana allegedly fell from his pants while he was going through security at Tucson's airport. Deputy Pima County Attorney Bruce Chalk said the case will be dismissed if Stoudamire provides proof of two more drug-free urine tests over the next six months, avoids any criminal convictions and reports any subsequent arrests immediately. Stoudamire already has completed a drug treatment program and has volunteered to give $45,000 in scholarships for needy or at-risk children for basketball camps run by University of Arizona coaches Lute Olson and Joan Bonvicini.