It’s hard to remember but there was a time in 2007 when Kobe Bryant wanted to leave the Los Angeles Lakers and be traded somewhere else. Bryant wasn’t pleased with the direction the team was going and wanted out of LA. One of the places he almost landed was with the Dallas Mavericks, according to owner Mark Cuban.
Cuban said in a recent interview with Bleacher Report that he thought the deal for Kobe was done.
“I was going back and forth with Dr. Buss, and I forgot who called who, I think he called me, actually, and said, ‘Look, we think we might be parting ways with Kobe,’” Cuban said in an interview with Taylor Rooks in the B/R App.
“I thought [the Kobe trade] was done.” 👀
Mark Cuban gives the back story of how the Mavs were close to trading for the Mamba in the B/R app 🤯
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 16, 2022
The only reason the deal fell through, according to Cuban, is that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak talked Kobe into staying.
By 2009 and 2010, the Lakers won back-to-back NBA Championships, so clearly he made the right choice in staying. But still Cuban couldn’t help but wonder how good his Mavericks team would have been with Kobe and Dirk Nowitzki who was a bit worried at the time that Cuban might get rid of him.
“It would’ve been damn good,” Cuban said of the potential Dallas team had Bryant joined. “Dirk was like, ‘I would’ve traded me for Kobe,’ and I’m like, ’No, I’m not gonna trade you, Dirk, that’s the whole point.”