When Kobe Bryant and the Lakers front office had a rift back in 2007, it may have been more serious than some of us thought. Most Lakers fans never felt as though Kobe was going anywhere, and for the most part I felt the same way. However, Mark Cuban insisted the spat was real during an interview with “The Ben and Skin Show” and that Bryant was extremely close to becoming a Maverick.
“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,” Cuban explained according to the Dallas Morning News. “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.”
If you find that tough to buy, you will likely find it even more difficult to believe after hearing that Cuban says the deal would have kept Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas as well.
Now that the Mavs have won an NBA title, Cuban can tell this story without infuriating the fans. They may still wonder how many championships Kobe and Dirk could have won for Dallas over the last five seasons, but at least they have that one Larry O’Brien trophy to fall back on when they start picturing Kobe in blue and white.