Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Detroit Pistons Executive Joe Dumars thought they had traded for Kobe Bryant during his NBA playing career.
In 2007, Kobe was unhappy with the Los Angeles Lakers. The 2006-07 Lakers finished 42-40 (.512) and ranked seventh overall in the Western Conference.
Then, the Phoenix Suns bounced them in five games during the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thought he traded for Kobe Bryant
In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Cuban told the broadcaster, “I thought it was done.”
“I was in Dancing with the Stars, and we practiced a lot, like seven, eight hours a day, because I needed it. I was going back and forth with Dr. Buss… he said look, ‘I think we might be parting ways with Kobe.'”
“I remember it vividly because there was a [production assistant] named Elvis… and he was Kobe, Kobe, Kobe all the time,” continued Cuban.
“So, it started to happen, and I started telling him about it, and that was the kiss of death. Because the minute I told Elvis, it fell apart.”
Imagine the Mavericks with Kobe, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd. Nonetheless, in the event the trade did occur, two of these Dallas players could have been packaged in a trade for Black Mamba.
Former Pistons’ Executive Joe Dumars thought he acquired Bryant
Additionally, former Pistons Executive Joe Dumars made an appearance on Sports Illustrated’s “The Crossover” podcast with Howard Beck.
Similar to Cuban, Dumars also thought he had traded for Kobe. “Mitch Kupchak and I went back and forth about parameters,” explained Dumars.
“This is when Kobe was saying, ‘I want out. Lakers aren’t trying to win. I want out.’ It was two teams that Mitch felt like had enough pieces to do a deal for Kobe.”
“It was us and Chicago. Mitch called and said, ‘Look, love to work out something with you.’ Take us a couple days to work it out. And then we agreed on a deal.”
“At the time, Kobe is the only player that had a no-trade in his contract,” continued Dumars. “So Mitch says, ‘Look, as you know, Joe, Kobe has a no-trade, so he has to approve of this.”
“But we’re gonna take this to him and I’m gonna take this to Dr. Buss.’ He did. Dr. Buss said ok. They took it to Kobe, and Mitch told me that Kobe said, ‘I need 24 hours or 48 hours or something to discuss this with my family.”
“Like, Look, I need time to discuss it with my family.’ And I think Dr. Buss was like, ‘No, we need an answer in the next day’ or whatever. And Kobe didn’t want to be forced into having to make a decision that quick…”
“He didn’t make a decision in 24 hours. And Dr. Buss said, ‘That’s it, I’m out. We tried to make a deal. You wouldn’t make a decision. We’re gonna move forward.’ And the trade was done.”
In the end, Kobe spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers. The 18-time All-Star won five NBA championships, two Finals MVPs, four All-Star Game MVPs and one MVP award. He was better off on the Lakers than the Mavericks or Pistons.
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