Kobe in Hornets hat? It did happen

Ah, the summer of 1996 seems so long ago.

At this point it’s a footnote to a Hall of Fame career, but remember that Kobe Bryant was once (very briefly) property of the Charlotte Hornets.

The story goes that the Lakers and Hornets worked out a trade the day before the 1996 NBA Draft, and that Los Angeles told Charlotte to select Bryant with their first-round pick at the very last minute. To get him, LA gave up starting center Vlade Divac. In LA, he joined new free-agent addition Shaquille O’Neal.

So, despite the fact that he never played a game for the franchise, and was never realistically a part of the team, Bryant does have that memory of being drafted by the Hornets. Bryant also apparently has a photo from draft day still lying around, as he tweeted out an image of himself wearing a Charlotte Hornets cap through Instagram in honor of the Bobcats’ impending name change.