Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 2, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As the Kobe Bryant retirement tour marches on, it seems every Bryant-related rumor and tantalizing what-if scenario from his playing career is determined to come out. The latest morsel is not quite as juicy as a Bryant-for-LeBron swap, but Dirk Nowitzki teaming up with Bryant in Los Angeles is still pretty good.

Bryant was asked about his relationship with Nowitzki at his All-Star press conference and revealed he once threw a Hail Mary Nowitzki’s way.

“Dirk and I have always had a great relationship because we’re both extremely competitive and also both extremely loyal to our teams. I’ll tell you a story about Dirk. He was up for free agency. And I knew what his response was gonna be, but just out of respect, I said ‘Dude, everybody’s looking around, all these free agents, I thought I’d just shoot you a text if you wanna come to LA.’ And he goes, ‘Dude, I would love to play with you, but Dallas is my home, this is my team, I’m not leaving here.’ So he and I think a lot alike in that regard.”

Bryant himself admitted that mashup was never likely going to come to fruition, but the idea of Nowitzki on the Lakers would’ve certainly been a fun one. Mavericks fans will explode in anger at the thought of their star donning the purple and gold, but it is pretty clear Nowitzki’s heart was always in Dallas. Imagining him playing for anyone but the Mavericks is even harder than picturing Bryant suiting up for a team other than the Lakers.

At the rate the Kobe Bryant rumor mill is churning, we might just find out what “basketball reasons” really means and why Michael Jordan actually retired before the season is done.

About Ben Sieck

Ben is a recent graduate of Butler University where he served as Managing Editor and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Butler Collegian. He currently resides in Indianapolis.