In case you’re wondering why Kobe Bryant was demanding a trade on Stephen A. Smith’s ESPN 1050 show but making much calmer noises later in the day, the New York Post’s Peter Vescey is all too pleased to fill you in.

The Post has learned a championship-caliber collaborator should soon be coming to Kobe’s – the city’s and the team’s – emotional rescue. How poetically peculiar that the player’s last name is O’Neal, as in Jermaine, not Shaquille!

Within the last week, the Pacers and Lakers have laid the groundwork for a trade that would certainly placate both sorrowful All-Stars. L.A. inquired about O’Neal – another fake franchise player pocketing maximum money on the prowl for someone to save him from losing. And was told he was available. Indiana let it be known the Lakers have ample assets (players and/or picks) to make a fair deal.

No specifics were delivered. No negotiating has been done. Still, Lamar Odom would have to be the principal of the package in order to adhere to NBA trade specifications. He’s currently on the Laker salary cap for $12,348,596 and has two seasons remaining at 900G per raises.

O’Neal earns Kobe-like numbers: $18,084M this season, and has three remaining at $19.728M, $21.372 and 23,016M. Kobe has an out after two more seasons.

Surely Andrew Bynum ($2.030M/$2.172M/$2.769M) must be included as well. I can’t see the Pacers parting with a 7-footer without getting one back.

Obviously, this very real swap talk is why Kobe’s blithering abruptly ceased late yesterday afternoon.

Much as I hate to challenge the veracity of Vescey’s report, I think we need to take a cold, hard look at the facts. In past 48 hours, Kobe has called in to no fewer than 7 chat radio shows, both of the local and national variety. Clearly, he’s frustrated and angry…at being the only person in North America WFAN hasn’t invited to host their early morning show for a few days.