As he continues his farewell tour after almost 20 years at the franchise, the idea of Kobe Bryant playing the last decade of his career away from the Los Angeles Lakers seems far-fetched.
Back in 2007, however, with the Lakers in limbo following the departure of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe frustrated with their lack of title credentials, the Black Mamba publicly discussed the idea of being traded.
Obviously, nothing ultimately came of the request and Kobe ended up winning two more titles in L.A. Now, though, the future Hall of Famer has revealed the three teams that were on his list of suitable destinations nine years ago.
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According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Bryant told fellow reporter Baxter Holmes:
"It was Chicago, San Antonio [or] Phoenix."
With Windhorst also reporting that the Lakers actually called the Cleveland Cavaliers to feel out a blockbuster Kobe-LeBron James trade, Bryant also confirmed that he'd never have agreed to it:
"I never would've approved it. Never. The trade to go to Cleveland? Never."
Chicago was well known to be interested in dealing for Kobe at the time but their front office was unable to put together a suitable package.
Phoenix, meanwhile, with the talents of a heyday Steve Nash at point guard, would certainly have been an attractive prospect for Bryant.
As for the Spurs, NBA fans outside of San Antonio must be delighted they never cracked the trade. Yes, the Lakers went on to win two more titles with Kobe sticking around, but can you imagine the potential of a team led by Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.