Posted August 22, 2012

Mark Cuban: Mavericks almost traded for Kobe Bryant in 2007

NBA

Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki were almost teammates on the Mavericks. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The Dallas Mavericks almost paired Kobe Bryant with Dirk Nowitzki in the summer of 2007, owner Mark Cuban said on ESPN Radio.

While Cuban was competing on Dancing with the Stars, the team was close to landing Bryant, he said.

Bryant was unhappy with Lakers’ management at the time. He felt like the team wasn’t giving him the support he needed to win a title without Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers hadn’t traded for Pau Gasol yet, and Andrew Bynum was still developing.

“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 said on the Ben and Skin Show on 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.”

Cuban said that the Mavericks wouldn’t have traded Nowitzki to acquire Bryant. The failed trade seemed to work out. Each franchise has won an NBA title since then.


3 comments
Ryan7
Ryan7

It's funny that Si.com is reporting this as if it actually almost happened.  The story as it was reported back then was that the Lakers told Cuban, "sure, just give us Dirk and we have a deal" (same for any other team thinking they could get Kobe without offering their best player(s) and that was the end of it. 

Edward Kastigar
Edward Kastigar like.author.displayName 1 Like

What would Dallas have offered? Devin Harris, Jason Terry, & Josh Howard were not as strong as the Bulls' assets (take your pick from Gordon, Hinrich, Deng, Noah, Ben Wallace, Tyrus Thomas).

david87michael
david87michael

 @Edward Kastigar I agree. I really think Cuban made this up. He is always trying to make headlines. I also don't believe the Lakers were ever really open to trading Kobe.