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Trading what-ifs part 2: Kobe in Detroit


After two first-round losses in consecutive seasons without Shaq on the team, in 2007 Kobe asked for a trade out of La-La Land. It seems asking for Shaq to be traded wasn’t such a good idea after all. Kobe being Kobe asked to be traded to Chicago with the idea of following MJ’s footsteps and winning rings for the Bulls. The other team? DEEEEEEETROOOOOIT BAAAAASKEEETBALL!!!!!

The Pistons won the NBA in 2004 and went to the conference finals six consecutive times 2003 – 2008. That made them the second choice in the East after it was made clear Lakers wouldn’t trade Kobe to anyone in the Western Conference.

The deal ended up being Rip Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Byron Maxwell, and two first-round picks for Kobe. Kobe insisted that Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace couldn't be included in the deal. The man was thinking long term.

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The call to the league was set up, all the details ironed out and Lakers GM told the Pistons that Kobe will just have one final conversation with Jerry Buss, the Lakers owner. When they heard that in Detroit they knew the deal was not going to happen. "There was too much of a relationship there," one of the involved parties said.

The following season Pau Gasol came to town. You know the rest.

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