How many championship banners would be hanging in the American Airlines Center rafters had the Dallas Mavericks traded for Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant in 2007?
That might seem like a far-fetched question, but Mavs owner Mark Cuban said Tuesday morning the scenario almost became a reality in the summer of 2007.
“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 explained on the Ben and Skin Show on KESN-FM (103.3). “Literally, between ‘Dancing with the Stars’ practices I had thought we traded for Kobe Bryant. I even talked to their owner (Jerry Buss) and thought we were going to have a done deal, and (Lakers general manager) Mitch Kupchak changed (Kobe’s) mind and brought him back.”
It’s unclear whom the Mavs would have given up — Jason Terry, Josh Howard and Jason Kidd were on the roster — but Cuban said Dirk Nowitzki was not on the table.
“It wasn’t Dirk for Kobe,” Cuban said before admitting the Lakers were smart to walk away.
Bryant and Nowitzki playing on the same team in the prime of their careers? Our opening question no longer sounds so off-base, does it?