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Cuban says the Mavericks almost traded for Kobe in 2007

Aug 22, 2012, 8:38 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Denver Nuggets, Game 2 Getty Images

The summer of 2007 was the summer of Kobe Bryant’s discontent.

Since the Lakers had traded Shaquille O’Neal they had not put new pieces around Kobe that could help win a title, and Kobe let the world know. He asked for a trade, he pressured management, he ripped Andrew Bynum to random guys with a video camera in a parking lot.

And the Lakers did have serious talks with Dallas about a trade, Mark Cuban confirmed while on ESPN Radio in Dallas, as transcribed by the Dallas Morning News. Things were so serious that Cuban — who was doing Dancing With the Stars at the time — thought it would get done.

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,” Cuban explained on the Ben and Skin Show on 103.3 [KESN-FM]. “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.”

Not sure if the Los Angeles Lakers would’ve taken Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, Devin Harris, Erick Dampier or Josh Howard in return but Cuban assures that Dirk Nowitzki was not in the deal.

“It wasn’t Dirk for Kobe,” Cuban said before admitting that the Lakers were smart by not letting it happen.

While the Lakers were exploring, I’m not sure they were as serious as Cuban thought, I’m not sure they ever would have traded Kobe until their hand was forced (ie. he could leave via free agency, the way Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard gained leverage to force a trade). Kobe is too valuable to the Lakers brand.

It’s moot. At the next trade deadline the Lakers swung a deal for Pau Gasol and went to the next three NBA finals, winning two. And Kobe was happy again. A couple years later, the Mavericks and Cuban would get their rings, too. You just wonder if there would have been more with Kobe.

  1. storebrandcookies - Aug 22, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    Wow, talk about a “What if?” !

    • florida727 - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Yeah, and I “almost” made it to the NBA back in 1979. Does Cuban feel compelled to get his name in the media every single day?

  2. joshm5683 - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    I love Mark Cuban, he is probably my favorite sports owner in any professional sport. However, he needs to really quiet down. 1st he was talking about how the Mavs are better off now without signing Deron Williams and now how they had almost traded for Kobe. It sounds more like hes trying to sell the Mav fans that all these moves or non moves were done with the best interest of the Mavs at heart, even though the Mavs are going to be treading water the next few years.

  3. shockexchange - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Good thing it didn’t happen. Horry Jr can only win when he plays on teams with “exceptionally more talent” than the rest of the league.

  4. dls612 - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Almost, yeah ok! He loved Dirk too much to let him go! No one was breaking up that marriage!

  5. chadinkc30 - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM


    • cullenand99 - Aug 22, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      Why are you taking a joke about Kobe so personal? Are you two secret lovers or something?

      • eventhorizon04 - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:05 PM

        He probably wishes he was.

  6. ocgunslinger - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Mark Cuban is one of the great sports team owners. Love him or hate him he is always pushing to improve his team. As long as he owns the team the Mav’s will be consistent contenders and the fans will support him.

  7. omniusprime - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I almost care about what this article says. Good thing that Kobe didn’t go to that deadbeat team in texas. I’m sure Cuban is jealous he can’t have a franchise as awesome as the Lakers but he’s no Jerry Buss and never will be. Eat your heart out Mark and watch the Lakers win the title next June. Go Lakers!

  8. lakerluver - Aug 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Thank the heavens above the LAKERS didn’t make that deal!! But I must admit Kobe & Dirk would’ve been freakin awesome together!! Dallas would probably have a couple more rings and the LAKERS would have 2 less.

    • borderline1988 - Aug 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      Honestly, the combination makes no sense. Both are volume shooters who work best in isolation plays.

      The Lakers as they are now are unbelievable though. Every star brings different skills to the table, and they all would likely work well with each other (Kobe is a different animal all together though).

    • loungefly74 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      glad it didnt happen!

  9. tannethrill - Aug 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Kupchick is saying right now, “Haha, dummy thought we were seriously going to send them one of the best players for leftovers.”

    Never would have happened. Kobe would have been sent to the East without a doubt regardless of the best offer. Certainly not the Mavs who are in direct competition with them.

  10. skids003 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    An egotistical maniac trading to obtain another one. You gotta love it.

  11. lakerluver - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    @borderline1988, Shaq was also a volume shooter, just in a different way. He took just as many shots as Dirk does. And Shaq and Kobe won 3 titles together.
    @shockexchange, dude, really your act is old and lame. Obviously, you’re just on here looking for attention and not to add anything to the discussion. Please, go away.

    • bougin89 - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      I mainly try to ignore your comments because you tend to be so obviously bias but to say Shaq was a volume shooter makes me think you never watched him play. At this point I’m not even going to start to explain why you shouldn’t ever call Shaq a volume shooter….

  12. thebigcaptain2011 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    I almost slept with Anne Hathaway in 2011…..same result

    • florida727 - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      You too?

  13. lakerluver - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    @cullenand99, no, but maybe you and shockexchange are!! Hmmmm?

  14. jagwar73 - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Still can’t believe one of the greatest Lakers ever Jerry West, was allowed to trade Pau Gasol back to his home team! It’s like Larry Bird getting a job for the Bulls and trading Michael Jordan back to Boston! So much for fair play and parity…

    • manchestermiracle - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Or like Kevin McHale getting a job with the Timberwolves and giving Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. Duh. Do you have to post that drivel on every thread?

  15. tcclark - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Yeah just like Kobe “almost” signed with the clippers in ’04

  16. BigBeachBall - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    kobe threatens to be traded when he wants the buss’s to either kick shaq out or open their wallets… the story is probably true.

  17. manchestermiracle - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Cuban is smoking some questionable stuff if he thinks there was any chance the Lakers would have parted with Bryant for anyone (or everyone) on the Mavs roster. Even though Dallas got the best record that year, they were bounced from the playoffs in the first round, no better than the Lakers.

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