“The Lakers almost traded us Kobe, but it failed because of that”

“The Lakers almost traded us Kobe, but it failed because of that”

Kobe Bryant was once announced as a starter for the Lakers during the 2000s, unhappy with the lack of collective results. A competitor came within a hair’s breadth of acquiring his services… except that the trade fell through at a very specific moment.

Following the departure of the Shaq in 2004, the Lakers experienced a big crossing of the desert until 2008. Unable to go very far in the playoffs despite the individual exploits of Kobe Bryant, the Purples and Golds were no longer among the contenders for the title. To the great dismay of the Mamba logically, who more than anyone wanted to expand his trophy cabinet. He therefore asked to leave, in particular expressing his desire to join the Bulls.

However, if he wanted to play in Illinois, it was in Texas that his career almost continued in 2007. As Mark Cuban told Bleacher Report, the Mavericks were very close to welcoming him into their ranks, so that he would form a monstrous duo alongside a Dirk Nowitzki who had just been elected regular season MVP. The Californian management had even given the green light to the transfer… before everything changed to a rather comical situation, according to the owner of the franchise:

Kobe almost traded to the Mavs in 2007

Yes, I thought it was a settled deal. I participated in “Dancing with the Stars” and we practiced a lot, 7 to 8 hours a day. I was going back and forth with Dr. Buss (owner of the franchise at the time, editor’s note) and he called me to say “listen, we think we could separate from Kobe”. I remember it very well because there was a personal assistant called Elvis who was always talking about Kobe, Kobe, Kobe.

So when things started to get serious, I started talking to him about it. And that was the beginning of the end. Because the minute I told Elvis, everything fell apart. Mitch Kupchak convinced Kobe to stay. It was like DeAndre Jordan. When a key guy on your team wants to leave, you’re going to do whatever you can to keep him.

When you think about it, the situation is indeed very similar to the one Dallas experienced with DeAndre Jordan in 2015. The pivot had given his verbal agreement to the franchise, but had ended up retracting after his teammates had mounted a commando operation, cutting him off from any means of communication in order to convince him to stay. Ironically, the big man was then a member of the Clippers, the other Los Angeles squad. Definitely, this city does not succeed in Cuban & co.!

Bad luck for the Mavs and Mark Cuban, who really came close to getting Kobe Bryant 15 years ago. Fortunately, it wasn’t so bad for the Texans, who became champions a few years later without him. As for the Mamba, he was able to grab two additional rings after this story.


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