Mark Cuban is probably the best owner in all of sports. The Dallas Mavericks owner is honest, open, and an all around fun guy. However, he might like to embellish a little bit. Cuban says that he was extremely close to acquiring Kobe Bryant in 2007 before the Los Angeles Lakers talked Kobe into staying.
“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,” Mark Cuban explained according to theDallas 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.
I take this with a grain of salt because Mark Cuban says the team would have been able to hold onto Dirk Nowitzki in this deal. Something makes me doubt that. The Lakers were asking for everything but the kitchen sink for Kobe. In some cases, they even wanted the kitchen sink. They had an outrageous asking price for him, because they did not want to move him. If you tell a guy a team can’t trade for him and still be a contender, they will back down at some point. When it’s a guy like Kobe who values winning above everything, it’s a lock that he would want to stay.
The league would certainly look different if the Mavs had ended up with Kobe. An inside out combo of him and Dirk would be almost impossible for any team to stop. The Mavs could have easily won more than one title during the era of Dirk. He and Kobe may have feuded but I think fans would have enjoyed it if if brought them multiple titles. Winning cures everything, after all.