Mark Cuban Says Mavericks Almost Landed Kobe Back in 2007
The Kobe Bryant farewell tour has prompted a lot of people to sit down and seriously consider the man’s legacy. And as people started rehashing the past, they started digging up lots of interesting stories—the most interesting ones being those about how Kobe was almost traded to this team or that team.
The latest such story comes to us from none other than Mark Cuban. On Wednesday he told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that the Dallas Mavericks almost landed Kobe for Josh Howard and Jason Terry back in 2007. And not “almost landed” as in he offered to make the trade. “Almost landed” as in he really thought it was a done deal.
“I could have sworn that we had a deal done for Josh Howard and Jet. I was telling all the stagehands at Dancing With the Stars it was done,” explained Cuban, who was a competitor on DWTS back in 2007. “Then Mitch [Kupchak] or Jerry Buss or whoever talked him out of it.”
Of course, this is only Cuban’s side of the story. He may have genuinely thought it was a done deal at the time, but he may also have been delusional. Kobe has gone on record about the tumultuous summer of 2007, when he demanded the Lakers upgrade their roster or trade him. According to him, the only teams for which he would have waived his no-trade clause were Chicago, San Antonio, or Phoenix.
Cuban, of course, wanted Kobe to join forces with Dirk Nowitzki, who at the time was the reigning MVP of the league. He even discussed the trade with Dirk.
“I do remember Dirk coming to me and saying, ‘Look, if you can trade me for Kobe, you’ve gotta do it,'” Cuban said. “I was like, ‘Dirty, that’s not gonna happen.'”
Would the Mavericks have won more championships with Kobe and Dirk together? Perhaps. But there’s no guarantee.
“It would have been different,” Cuban said. “That’s all I can say. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.”
Hat Tip – [ESPN]