The Kobe Bryant-to-the-Bulls saga, which seems finally over with John Paxson’s declarations Thursday, is like an NBA/media version of the Big Lie, a World War II propaganda technique.
It has often been stated that if you tell a lie often enough, make it big and keep repeating it, people eventually will believe it.
Bryant stated last May he wanted to be traded, and to the Bulls. It would be a dereliction of duty for Bulls general manager Paxson not to explore the possibility, but the talks never got beyond the exploratory stage.
With the onset of the season and owner Jerry Buss saying he’d consider a deal, Bryant and his people—most everyone in LA has “people”—apparently began to panic. They were contacting teams and suggesting trades and dropping hints to reporters about impending deals, all to create an atmosphere of imminence.
Media members both embraced and enhanced these hints, to the point that there were breathless newspaper, Internet and broadcast reports of an impending trade almost daily for the last week.
Paxson put an end to that Thursday. “There’s not a deal that ever was on the verge of being done, ever close to being done or is going to be done right now,” he said.