Back in 2007, Kobe Bryant was frustrated with the way things were going in Los Angeles and told the Lakers that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if they were able to work out a deal with a team on a pre-approved list that he provided for them. That list included the Spurs, Suns, and Bulls (and as you probably know, a Kobe-to-the-Bulls trade almost happened). But at one point, the Lakers reportedly decided to call a team that wasn’t on Kobe’s list to gauge their interest in a trade.
According to a new ESPN.com report, that team was the Cavaliers. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak reportedly called the Cavs to discuss the possibility of sending Kobe to Cleveland in exchange for…well, do we really even have to tell you? One hint: It wasn’t“Boobie” Gibson.
The proposed deal would have, of course, called for the Cavs to send LeBron James, who was 22 at the time, to the Lakers in exchange for Kobe. ESPN.com says the conversation between the two teams didn’t last long—the Cavs said no almost immediately, before asking if the Lakers would be interested in including any of their other players in a deal for Kobe—but for a brief moment, there was talk of a Kobe-for-LeBron trade. Not that Kobe would have approved it even if the Cavs had been interested.
“I never would’ve approved it,” Kobe told ESPN’s Baxter Holmes this week. “Never. The trade to go to Cleveland? Never. That wasn’t one of the teams that was on my list.”
Realistically, there’s no way that this trade would have happened. But how crazy would it have been if it had?
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