Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Detroit Pistons CEO Joe Dumars thought they had traded Kobe Bryant during his NBA career.
In the year 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.
They then defeated the Phoenix Suns in five games in the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thought they would trade for Kobe Bryant.
In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Cuban told the broadcaster, “I thought it was done.”
“I was on Dancing with the Stars, and we rehearsed as much as seven, eight hours a day because I wanted to. I was going back and forth with Dr. Bass… and he said, ‘Look, I think we’re breaking up with Kobe.’
“I remember clearly because a [production assistant] Elvis … and it was always Kobe, Kobe, Kobe,” Cuban continued.
“So, it started happening, and I started telling him about it, and that was the kiss of death. Because the minute I told Elvis, he fell apart.
Imagine the Mavericks with Kobe, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd. However, by the time the trade happened, two of those Dallas players could have been wrapped up for the Black Mamba trade.
Former Pistons executive Joe Dumars thought he had met Bryant.
Additionally, former Pistons executive Joe Dumars appeared on Sports Illustrated’s “The Crossover” podcast with Howard Beck.
Similar to Cuban, Dumars thought he traded for Kobe. “Mitch Kupchak and I went back and forth about measurements,” Dumars said.
“At this point, Kobe was saying, ‘I want out.’ The Lakers are not trying to win. I want out.’ There were two teams that Mitch felt had enough pieces to make a deal for Kobe.
It was us and Chicago. Mitch called and said, ‘Look, I’d love to do something with you.’ Take two days to do it. Then we agreed on a deal.
“At the time, Kobe was the only player who didn’t have a trade in his contract,” Dumars continued. “So Mitch said, ‘Look, Joe, you know, Kobe doesn’t have a business, so he has to approve this,'” he said.
But we’ll take this to him and I’ll take this to Dr. Bass.’ He did. Dr. Buss agreed. They took him to Kobe and Mitch told me Kobe said, ‘I need 24 hours or 48 hours or something to talk to my family.’
“Like, look, I need time to chat with my family.’ And I think Dr. Buss said, ‘No, we want an answer the next day,’ or something. And Kobe didn’t want to be forced to make a quick decision…”
“He did not make a decision within 24 hours. And Dr. Buss said, ‘That’s it, I’m out. We tried to make a deal. She would not make a decision. We’ll move on’ and the business is done.
Ultimately, Kobe spent 20 years with the Lakers. The 18-time All-Star has won five NBA championships, two Finals MVPs, four All-Star Game MVPs and one MVP award. He was better on the Lakers than the Mavericks or Pistons.