Kobe Bryant, a legend with the Los Angeles Lakers who played there for 20 seasons, had one of the most decorated careers in the history of the National Basketball Association. However, Bryant was not actually drafted by the Lakers, despite the fact that he has spent his whole career playing for the team.
The Charlotte Hornets used the thirteenth overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft to choose Bryant for their team. However, the Lakers and the Hornets had previously come to an arrangement regarding the drafting of Bryant, and the Lakers had informed the Hornets to do so on their behalf. The Hornets received Vlade Divac from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Kobe Bryant. It was stated that the Lakers had recognized Bryant as a unique talent and were intent on acquiring his services. According to West, this guy is “probably the easiest player that I’ve ever seen to identify with.”
“When you see someone who is 18 years old working out against men, and he’s so superior to them… the mental part was especially noticeable,” said the observer. His degree of expertise was really absurd, and yet everyone wants to give me credit for it. To this day, I still find it hard to comprehend that the other participants in the league would turn down a skill of that caliber.
On August 25, 1996, immediately following the draft, Kobe Bryant signed a rookie deal with the Lakers for the sum of $3.5 million. He continued to play with the Lakers throughout his whole 20-year career. Bryant was able to achieve a tremendous deal of success while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, including guiding the team to five NBA titles. In addition, he was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals twice, the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Regular Season once, and multiple times as an All-Star and All-NBA pick.
Kobe Bryant, a former coach for the Hornets told him that Charlotte did not require him. Dave Cowens, formerly of the Charlotte Hornets as head coach
Dave Cowens, formerly of the Charlotte Hornets as head coach
Kobe Bryant discussed his interest in joining the Charlotte Hornets during the 2015 season. Bryant claimed that on draft night, then-Hornets coach Dave Cowens told him that Charlotte did not require his services and that the team could move on without him:
“Charlotte never wanted me,” Bryant remarked,”Cowens informed me he didn’t want me. It was never even a consideration for me to compete in this tournament. They already possessed a number of guards and a handful of small forwards, so they were well-prepared. Therefore, it wasn’t as if I would be coming off the bench very often.
Bryant continued by saying that he was thrilled to be picked by the Hornets until he learned that they intended to trade him:
“I mean, I had grown up watching basketball,” Bryant stated in his statement.”I was aware of who Dave Cowens was and was pretty pumped about the opportunity to play for him.” After that, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, all right.’ I went from being a happy-go-lucky youngster to having a killing instinct in no time.
Cowens, on the other hand, refuted the account not long after:
“I’d never say anything like that to a player,” Cowens replied when asked about the statement.
“Neither of us knew the other, as we had never met before. It wasn’t about the fact that he couldn’t play for us in any capacity. It was just that (an agreement) had already been reached.”
The trade unquestionably redirected the path that the NBA’s history would take, regardless of whether the story is accurate. In the same vein, the majority of people would agree that if the Hornets were given a second chance, they would undo the trade in an instant.