Report: Detroit Pistons Tried to Trade for Kobe Bryant in 2007

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

With all of Kobe Bryant’s accomplishments during his 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s easy to forget there was some immense turmoil during his career.

After Shaquille O’Neal was traded in 2004, Bryant had to deal with a very poor supporting cast for three years. In 2007, his frustration boiled over and he demanded a trade himself.

According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Bryant was close to becoming a Detroit Piston that fall.

“Bryant’s first choice was Chicago, where he’d try to eclipse Michael Jordan’s mark of six championships in his idol’s very shadow,” Berger reported. “But Detroit also was on the list, the person said, on the following conditions: Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace couldn’t be included in the deal.

“At one point, Bryant had envisioned teaming up with Billups, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace.”

There are conflicting reports about who the Lakers would’ve gotten in return, but it appears the package would have been centered around Richard Hamilton.

If it happened, this trade would have extended the Pistons’ championship window, which was rapidly closing at the time. Perhaps they would’ve taken down the mighty Boston Celtics that year and won another ring, if not more.

Needless to say, it would’ve probably been the beginning of the end for the Purple and Gold. Having traded away two of the all-time greats in just three years, other superstars may have been dissuaded from wanting to join the team in the future.

As fortune would have it, the trade was called off at the last minute, and instead, the Lakers would team Bryant with Pau Gasol a few months later en route to two more NBA championships.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.