Kobe Bryant Insists Fear of Jordan’s Legacy Was Not the Reason He Didn’t End Up in Chicago
It’s hard to think of Kobe Bryant in anything other than a Lakers jersey. But in 2004 and then again in 2007, he almost ended up in Chicago.
Why didn’t he end up there? Well it wasn’t because he was afraid of trying to live up to Michael Jordan.
“Do I seem like the type to cower to something like that?” Bryant asked reporters in Chicago on Sunday, prior to his last game at the United Center. “C’mon, man. No.”
Last year, Bryant admitted that he demanded a trade in 2007, and that the Bulls were actually his number one choice. However, the deal fell through because the Bulls wouldn’t part with Luol Deng, and Kobe and the Lakers eventually worked things out.
Kobe was perhaps closest to becoming a Bull in 2004. This was back when Kobe and Shaq had their falling out and decided they could no longer co-exist in L.A. According to his remarks on Sunday, for a while Kobe thought he was a gonner.
“My wife and I were actually planning travel arrangements to come out to Chicago and look at some homes and schools and things like that,” Bryant explained. “Then once [Shaq] demanded a trade, it was like, ‘There’s no way they’re going to trade me anywhere.’ The sign-and-trade option just pretty much went off the table.”
Of course, when you think about it, why would Kobe be worried about living up to Jordan’s legacy? Kobe plays for the same team as Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Magic Johnson. He could have handled the Bulls.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]