Mars Reel

Once upon a time Kobe Bryant was going to be a Detroit Piston

 


via Yahoo! Sports:

kobe_jerry_buss

Six years ago Kobe Bryant was 29, he wasn’t happy about the direction the Lakers were headed and publicly requested a trade in May 2007.  That’s when Jerry Buss worked his magic. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Buss met with Bryant shortly before Lakers started training camp in 2007 and informed Bryant that the Lakers had come to an agreement that would send him  to Detroit for a package of Detroit’s core players (at the time Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince were all included) and future draft picks.  Buss only needed Bryant to waive his no-trade clause and the deal would be done. As you can see that didn’t happen. Instead Kobe Bryant and Jerry Buss won 5 championships together.

Per Yahoo! :

After all the anger and angst and fury of the immediate post-Shaq era had inspired Kobe Bryant to make a trade demand, Jerry Buss finally called his superstar guard to the owner’s home in the Los Angeles hills on an autumn evening in 2007. The Los Angeles Lakers had found a trade for Bryant, but Buss warned him that it wasn’t to one of his selected destinations. ”Detroit,” Buss said. The Lakers had agreed to a deal to send Bryant to the Pistons and needed Bryant’s approval to waive his no-trade clause. The package included a combination of Detroit’s core players and draft picks, sources say. Buss and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak needed an answer soon, because they refused to let the issue linger into training camp. Looking back, Bryant isn’t sure it would’ve mattered whether it was Detroit or Chicago, Dallas or New York. In that moment, in Buss’ house in the hills, it washed over Bryant how much staying a Laker for life meant to him, how no matter how dire the state of the franchise seemed, that Buss had a history of restoring the Lakers to championship contention. ”It hit me that I didn’t really want to walk out on Dr. Buss,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Monday. Months later, Kupchak honored Buss’ faith and made the trade for Pau Gasol. Soon, the Lakers were back in the NBA Finals three straight years and winning two more titles. Soon, Bryant was back to understanding the inevitable essence of Jerry Buss’ prowess: In the end, the old man was a force of nature. After all the anger and angst and fury of the immediate post-Shaq era had inspired Kobe Bryant to make a trade demand, Jerry Buss finally called his superstar guard to the owner’s home in the Los Angeles hills on an autumn evening in 2007. The Los Angeles Lakers had found a trade for Bryant, but Buss warned him that it wasn’t to one of his selected destinations. ”Detroit,” Buss said. The Lakers had agreed to a deal to send Bryant to the Pistons and needed Bryant’s approval to waive his no-trade clause. The package included a combination of Detroit’s core players and draft picks, sources say. Buss and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak needed an answer soon, because they refused to let the issue linger into training camp. Looking back, Bryant isn’t sure it would’ve mattered whether it was Detroit or Chicago, Dallas or New York. In that moment, in Buss’ house in the hills, it washed over Bryant how much staying a Laker for life meant to him, how no matter how dire the state of the franchise seemed, that Buss had a history of restoring the Lakers to championship contention. ”It hit me that I didn’t really want to walk out on Dr. Buss,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Monday. Months later, Kupchak honored Buss’ faith and made the trade for Pau Gasol. Soon, the Lakers were back in the NBA Finals three straight years and winning two more titles. Soon, Bryant was back to understanding the inevitable essence of Jerry Buss’ prowess: In the end, the old man was a force of nature.



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