PHOENIX (AP) -They are franchise players, the kind who expect to stay with their teams for as long as they want.
No team would dare trade a Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade, All-Star starters and among the best scorers in their sport. So they were having a little trouble imagining a player like themselves getting dealt.
continuing to dominate trade talk.
``You never know if it is real or not,'' Wade said Friday. ``Everyone's name is eventually going to come up in a trade rumor. That's what happens. I think the best thing is not to worry about it. Just continue to do what you are doing. If you go somewhere, embrace it. If he doesn't, try to stay here and lead your team to the playoffs.''
There was one trade Friday, with Shawn Marion going to Toronto and Jermaine O'Neal headed to Miami to highlight a deal between the Raptors and Heat.
But those guys are former All-Stars whose best basketball is probably behind them. Stoudemire is a current one, perhaps just entering his prime.
``I think he's just a great player who still has a lot of talent, a lot of potential left,'' Bryant said, ``which makes it a tough position for an organization to be in obviously because they feel they need to shake things up and he's the most valuable asset they have in terms of getting things back.''
Stoudemire is scheduled to start for the Western Conference on Sunday night, but it's unclear if he'll still be playing for a West team. His Suns, perhaps the NBA's most disappointing team, have made it known they will listen to offers.
parently figuring if they aren't going to win a title, they might as well lose some payroll.
``I'm trying to figure out what the focus is. I'm not quite sure,'' Stoudemire said. ``The franchise is trying to go for a championship, but it doesn't seem that way anymore. I don't know what to expect from the front office. I'm not sure if they are going for a championship or freeing up money.''
At least O'Neal's return to the All-Star game gave Phoenix something to cheer while hosting the All-Star festivities. He was chosen to 14 straight games before missing last year, and fellow players seemed happy the fun-loving center was back.
``There will never be another him, his creativity,'' Wade said. ``We got a chance to see him in Miami for a couple years. It was unbelievable.''
On Sunday, O'Neal and Bryant will be teammates again, five years after the end of a great partnership on the court and a better soap opera off it.
``It'll be like old times. It'll be great memories,'' O'Neal said. ``Kobe's playing at a very high level right now. It'll be like old times. I can remember, not that long ago, we were the best tandem ever created in the game. So it's going to be fun out there.''
eral more,'' but all agreed there was no use dwelling on the past.
``We just don't look at things like that in this game,'' said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who will coach the Western Conference. ``Things went the way they were supposed to go, and life goes on as far as that goes.''
Just like the old days, the two couldn't have seemed more different Friday. O'Neal, always the entertainer, had hugs and handshakes for old friends and foes, smiling his way throughout his return to All-Star weekend.
Bryant arrived 45 minutes late for his session with the media and seemed to squirm with every mention of O'Neal's name.
``Everybody wants to make a story out of that thing and to us it's really not that big of a story,'' Bryant said. ``I'm not revisiting that. It wasn't a fun time for me so I'm not about to revisit it.''
O'Neal and Bryant won three straight titles from 2000-02, all the more impressive considering how much energy they spent bickering with each other. O'Neal thought Bryant was a ballhog who wouldn't settle for being the No. 2. Bryant retorted that O'Neal was out of shape and therefore not dependable late in games - and that was just part of it.
Yet both swear things were never as bad as they seemed in the media.
t I would say stuff just to be saying it,'' O'Neal said. ``But I can tell you for a fact, and you can ask Kobe this, our years together we never had one problem in practice. It was always, he said something that I thought he'd said, and I'd come back.
``Not only that, we never had a problem in a game. It was always on point. We always looked out for each other,'' O'Neal added. ``It was all marketing. It was a duo that's still talked about to this day, and I haven't played with him for what, five years? Which means my marketing worked.''
They mostly kept their distance Friday. They were in opposite corners of a ballroom for their sessions with the media, with a large curtain dividing the room. They worked at the same community school refurbishment project, but were a couple of hundred yards away performing different tasks.
Yet their relationship was the center of attention, just the way O'Neal said he made it.
``A lot of it was done, especially by me, just to bring excitement,'' he said. ``Because Kobe and myself were the most dominant, dramatical and non-dramatical duo ever created.
``I told Kobe this, if we had our own reality show, it would be the best reality show ever. Kobe vs. Shaq on the West Coast; on the East Coast, Shaq vs. Kobe. It'd be the best show ever.''

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