Mark Cuban Thought He Traded For Kobe Bryant In 2007

Kobe Bryant Lakers changes next year

Photo: AP Images

Mark Cuban went on ESPN radio in Dallas yesterday and revealed just how close Kobe Bryant was to being a Maverick in 2007.Here’s what he said (via the Dallas Morning News):

“When I was doing Dancing with the Stars, I was taking breaks because I was talking to Kobe’s agent because Kobe wanted to get traded. Literally, between Dancing with the Stars practices I had thought we traded for Kobe Bryant. I even talked to their owner and thought we were going to have done deal, and [Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak changed [Kobe’s] mind and brought him back.”

Cuban didn’t reveal the specifics of the deal, but said Dirk Nowitzki was not involved.

Every once in a while, we get one of these classic “what if’s,” but this one is particularly intriguing because it would have changed everything about the NBA in the last five years.

Do the Mavs win in 2011? Does Kobe ever win a post-Shaq title? Where does Pau Gasol land?

2007 was right before NBA players started to turn their trade demands in public melodramas. So it’s easy to forget that Kobe wanted out of LA, bad.

“At this point I’ll go play on Pluto,” he said, before back-tracking on his trade demand and eventually staying with the Lakers.

Cuban and Kobe at the helm of the same franchise? Would have been interesting.

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