Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 10:10 am  |  91 responses

Kobe Bryant on NBA Teams That Didn’t Draft Him

Kobe Bryant gave Peter Vecsey of the NY Post a fascinating glimpse into what took place prior to the 1996 NBA draft, when he was a fresh-faced 17-year old looking for NBA employment: “The one rubbing Bryant the rawest implicates Dave Cowens, then the Hornets’ coach. At some point soon after the Hornets selected Bryant with the No. 13 pick, the two had a private phone conversation that went something like this. Cowens: ‘You know what the deal is, right? Kobe: ‘Yes, I do.’ Cowens: ‘Well, that’s good, because we don’t need you anyway.’ Kobe is as stupefied and infuriated now as he was then. ‘Can you believe someone would say something like that to a 17-year-old!’ he says, his face one-third smile, one-third scowl and one-third sinister. ‘That really threw me. It really hurt. Especially since it came from him. I knew about Dave Cowens. I knew what a great player he was. I followed his career. I looked up to him because he played so hard and showed so much passion. That spit just blew me away!’ Then again, by then, Bryant should have been accustomed to being disillusioned by Hall of Fame players. Twice he worked out for Clippers’ GM Elgin Baylor … and coach Bill Fitch. After the second, the two dream weavers invited Bryant to lunch. ‘They told me it was the two best workouts they’d ever seen,’ he said. ‘That’s it, I figured, I was going be a Clipper and play in L.A. I was pumped!’ Before Bryant had finished his fantasy, his magic carpet ride crashed. Out of nowhere, Baylor and Fitch flipped the switch. ‘Your skill level is off the charts. Your athleticism is exceptional. And your energy and enthusiasm are remarkable,’ they gushed. ‘But we can’t draft you … Because people out here won’t think we’re serious if we draft a high school kid at No. 7.’ [...] Bryant never had any reason to believe he would wind up playing in nearby Philadelphia for the 76ers, holders of the draft’s oceanfront lot. There was little doubt Allen Iverson would be the top pick. Yet GM Brad Greenberg invited Kobe in, anyway, for a test run. ‘I guess they saw some of my high school games. That was the only explanation I could think of for not being asked to shoot or dribble or demonstrate any of my skills’ Bryant said. ‘All they wanted me to do was to sprint the court. They timed me on a stop watch.’ Greenberg told Bryant him Iverson had run faster. ‘So?!?!’ Kobe exclaimed. [...] Greenberg disputes Bryant’s version. In an email he said the workout consisted of more than running. ‘He did shooting drills and other stuff … had a great workout,’ Greenberg wrote. ‘I just thought Iverson [was] a better selection at the time. I wasn’t comfortable going with a HS kid for the No. 1 pick vs. Iverson.’”

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  • G

    Hahaha the regrets that all these people must have

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    divac! nuff said

  • RunNGun

    Hindsight is 20/20.

  • http://www.slamonline.com aman from arkansas

    I think if the Hornets did keep him that Kobe wouldn’t be the player he is today. Everything happen for a reason.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He is forgetting how he shafted the Nets by refusing to play for them. But that is how Kobe rolls.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Elgin Baylor.
    Probably the worst GM of all time. When it comes to scouting and drafting.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    How can Kobe not understand the skepticism behind taking a HS player that early in the draft. At that time it still wasn’t the most popular thing to do. And Allenp makes a good point, the Nets were ready to take that shot, and Kobe told them to eff off. “Can you believe a 17 yr old would tell an NBA team he won’t play for them!?”

  • Sam

    In the story Kobe also says that he would have played for the Nets if they had drafted him. Was he just bluffing? Hard to tell because at this point in his career, he’s probably just being diplomatic.

  • Jer Dawg

    It’s cool. Lakers are happy and he’s happy. 16 years in Los Angeles is great. Better than living in the cold during winters.

  • AT33

    I think going AI over Kobe was a good selection back then. Remember, Kobe wasn’t good at all in the first few years, he would jack up shots like crazy you’d see rolling eyes left and right. Whereas AI took the league by storm the day he started his job. If AI would have played with Shaq we’d have the same outcome if not more championships in LA. Remember AI took his team on his back to the finals, something Kobe could never do on his own. If you don’t understand that then you don’t understand basketball.

  • OTB

    You do realize that when AI took the Sixers to the Finals, a) the East was embarrassingly weak (the second best team were the Bucks), and b) he had the reigning Sixth Man of the Year (McKie), Defensive Player of the Year (Mutumbo), and Coach of the Year that season. AI had free reign offensively, but lets not act as if that team was a defensive pushover.

  • bigA

    I agree, at the time ai was the right pick. But saying you don’t understand basketball if you think kobe could have put a team on his back like ai did is idiotic!

  • http://bulls.com airs

    @at33 um…….what?!?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol – I don’t doubt most of this is the truth. But i firmly believe Kobe makes things worse in his head as motivation.

  • bdogg

    jerry west said kobe was the best workout he ever did..he supposedly dominated coop. if i also remember correctly magic invited kobe to his midsummer classic event at the forum before pierce took it over and kobe dominated penny that night..i think magic at that point was sold..numero ocho is the real deal! nuff said! he used this as motivation like mj getting cut supposedly from his high school team. i hate using the mj and kb comparison but you get my point!

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @nbk, I thought I was the only one who thought that! LOL.

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHoliday

    I get what @AT33 is saying. He is saying AI took a Philly team to the finals pretty much by himself. When Kobe was in LA (following Shaq’s departure), Lakers were pretty bad for a while. I know it’s East vs. West, etc. but I see what @AT33 is getting at.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Except the Phili team that Iverson brought to the finals was chalk full of elite defensive players. And he, himself was a one man offensive force. They were very talented. (less so, then any team Kobe won with, but still) – wasn’t surprising that they got as far as they did, especially in the weak eastern conference.

  • dave

    niQ and nbk are both right lol, a trait of greatness it seems.

  • http://sdjfklf.com Jukai

    That Phili team was tailor made for Iverson, so no, no one else could have taken that team as far as Iverson did… but I would think before you say that Kobe couldn’t have taken Phili as far in the playoffs as Iverson did.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    KHoliday: Your saying Kobe should have won like AI did with a team featuring Chris Mihm at Center, Smush Parker at PG, Brian Cook at PF, and Odom at SF. With a bench of Luke Walton and Devean George That’s one of the worse teams minus Kobe that I can think of. Insert Eric Gordon over Kobe on this team and it’s way worse than New Orleans current squad… WOW…

  • jinolin

    How long did it take AI to take the 76ERs to the finals? 4 years? after Shaq, how long did it take Kobe to take the Lakers to the Finals? 3 years. null argument. And if you think a 20-something year old in-his-prime Iverson would take a backseat to ANYONE, you’re out of your f*cking MIND. 30-something year old Iverson wouldn’t take a backseat to anyone LOL. Egos like Shaq, Kobe, AI, Jordan – better yet, Alpha Males! – don’t share territory. Their intrinsic drive to STAND OUT AND DOMINATE is undeniable.

  • T-Money

    philly can’t be blamed for taking iverson when kobe was available just as houston can’t be blamed for taking dream over mj. there was no logical way to rationalize taking kobe or mj at that time. however, rumors have been circulating for years that kobe forced a trade to l.a. and had no intention of playing in charlotte. someone’s lying.

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    Iverson vs Kobe
    Iverson unstoppable public enemy on the Disk
    Kobe snitch who ratted on Superman.
    People seem to forget that at any given time Kobe might push the self destruct button. And he lost a final series with 3 HOF, shoe in Hall of Famers.
    Both guys are terrible from a chemistry point but goddamn can they score.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85Bl3GRdULQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player 1982

    I don’t know about Null argument – Gasol and Bynum were pretty big additions. AI’s front court was old Dikembe and Tyrone Hill, with a little Matty Gieger and McCulloh thrown in.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’ve always believed that Kobe’s offensive talents, while amazing, we’re not at the same force of nature type level as Iverson’s early in their careers. Before Kobe’s jumper became cash, he was a very talented standard two guard, while Iverson was perhaps the quickest player the League had seen in year, with amazingly long arms and a crazy jumping ability.
    I’m not saying Kobe couldn’t have done what Iverson did, eh could have. But, I don’t know if teams would have had to rearrange their entire lineup to contend with Kobe defensively. Maybe, but maybe not. It would have been interesting to see for sure.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jerry West said that Kobe forced a trade. That dude in Jersey just said the same thing about his time with Calipari when they wanted to draft Kobe. I can’t remember the GMs name.
    Kobe and his family didn’t want him in New Jersey and told the Nets so. The Lakers wanted him, and convinced Charlotte to get him for them.
    Iverson’s teammates were elite defensively and pretty horrible on offense. So basically, every night a six foot tall 165 pound had to dominate the game offensively for them to compete. And they finished with the best record in the East after two years of making the playoffs and getting to the second round.
    It wasn’t a fluke, it was a natural progression from the first time he took his putrid team to the playoffs after two or three years in the LEague. Check the stats people. The man averaged 23 and 7 as a rookie and then similar numbers as a sophomore. The next year they were battling for a playoff spot. And two years later they were in the Finals.
    Also, don’t forget he took that Sixers team with a one-legged Chris Webber to the playoffs, and I believe they won a series together.

  • http://hoopism.com airs

    i agree that AI was the correct choice for the sixers at #1.
    but to say AI and Shaq would have thrived and had even more success sounds ridic to me.
    AI is/was just as much the alpha male kobe is/was, and im sure they would have bumped heads as well.
    its a toss up, honestly, and actually a moot point anyways.

  • http://slamonline.com john

    @chief- shaq lost that finals series with those same 2 HOF. so wats ur point? Malone was injured that series and the glove completely sucked

  • http://slamonline.com john


  • T-Money

    that’s a good point, allen. i had actually forgotten about this but kobe was not a sure-shot HOF candidate early in his career. it seems crazy to say now that he has accomplished so much but i remember the first few years, no one was outraged that eddie jones was the starting 2-guard. to kobe’s credit, he worked his -ss off and developed an insane offensive repertoire but he didn’t have it right from the jump.

  • Heals

    Dude you were still a lottery pick so stop it already. TBrady was a 6th rounder, TParker and AgentGil were 2nd rounders (i.e. passed upon by every team). And while we’re at it using “spit” sounds weird from a 3O year old…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Exactly T-Money, which is why I can’t put anything past him.
    I doubt there has ever, EVER been a player who worked harder to eliminate every weakness in his game than Kobe Bryant. I would imagine he is the hardest working basketball player of all-time off the court, and that includes Jordan. Dude basically analyzed his entire game every year and then rebuilt the weak areas through intense practice. Basically, if it weren’t for his obvious mental failings, he would have likely been the undisputed greatest basketball player of all-time. But, such is life.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk


  • Ldub

    IDK if KB would have been the player he is today if he didnt come to LA. Think about it…no Shaq, no robert horry (thanks lil wayne)…no phil, no magic, no kareem…a lot of people (outside of kobes own worth ethic) have helped him get to where he is now. Would he have the motivation to prove all those teams wrong? Would he have won rings? Would he still have the strong comparison to MJ? I personally dont think KB would be who he is, if the road wasnt altered based on the decisions of those teams before the Lakers.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kobe wouldn’t be who he is because his worst chucking instincts would have been encouraged on a bad team, but his internal motivation would have never changed.
    The discussion of his legacy would be different if he didn’t have five rings, and I don’t know how many he would have won without Shaq and Pau, but I absolutely believe he would have been just as skilled as he is today regardless of where he played. That’s all on him.

  • Ldub

    Allenp….Im still having trouble believing that. When you are surrounded by greatness (everyday) and you are playing under a banning that has done so much great before your time. It kind of puts you in a different mindset. The playing style would have been different, the opportunities might have been different (based on teammates) as well. A lot of factors and variables could have been added to or removed from the equation. So to say he would be the same player, I dont see that. He had mentors, people he looked up to that drove him and added that extra motivation to be the greatest. Would he have the same motivation to “keep the party going” behind Larry Johnson, Bogues and/mashburn as he would from magic, kareem, worthy, west, etc?

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    @john Shaq won two years later with a better team player at the 2 guard spot. Kobe scored 81 and whined that he wanted out of LA. Kobe didn’t succeed until another great big man was pulled out of thin air for him. Pau Gasol. As far as draft picks go Iverson started 74 out of 76 games played averaged 40 mintues 23.5ppg,7.5asts,4.1rebs,2.1 steals, while the steak started 6 out 71 games played 15.5 minutes and gave you 7.6 ppg,1.3 asts, 1.9 reb, 0.7 steals. AI had 4.43 turnovers a game while, Bean had 1.58 in the time he played. The bottom line is Allen Iverson was sure fire 1st pick and Kobe thought he should be one.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Kobe was hell bent on being an all-time great out of HS, so I doubt playing on a bad-team would change any of that.

  • T-Money

    allen – i have to disagree with you there. even without the mental issues, i don’t think he would have been better than mj because he had less raw talent to work with. jordan was always insanely strong even when he was skinny, he was a better leaper and he had huge hands which helped him greatly to finish in traffic. jordan also had better court vision and could naturally see things on the move that kobe couldn’t see and still don’t. but yes, i concur that no one has worked harder at his craft than kobe bryant (at least no one i was able to see play).

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jordan played on a horrible team and built himself into greatness. Many other players have done the same.
    Kobe is one of the most internally driven players ever. Dude has been plotting his basketball legacy since he was a child. There are videos of him practicing in Italy and challenging adults basically because he was planning his life. There is nothing he ever planned to do but become a basketball superstar.
    That wouldn’t have changed no matter what, I just can’t see it. Yeah, he might not have succeeded as far as team success which could have led to even more egregious chucking, but he would have been one of the most skilled players ever, period. Dude is insanely dedicated to getting better.

  • Ldub

    you can want it…but would he be AS great as he is now if it werent for the LAKERS?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Interesting. I don’t know man. Kobe came in and developed the handle of a point guard early in his career. He could pass just as well as Jordan did early in his career in my opinion. Footwork was outstanding, he got in the weight room and got stronger.
    He can do somethings better than Jordana and Jordan does some things better than him. I think the biggest gaps were the eras they played in, and Kobe’s desire to sometimes prove that he can take and make any damn shot he wants. As soon as Kobe got his jumper right, he started relying on it a LOT.
    I think that if you put the ball in Kobe’s hands early in his career, without the triangle, he could have easily average 7 assists, maybe even 8. Now, I don’t know if his team would have won, but without the triangle and as the focal point of the offense, I could see Kobe putting up Lebron-esque numbers. By the time he got his shot, he was really set in his ways.
    I don’t know.

  • T-Money

    ldub, as jtaylor said, you can’t deny greatness. perhaps kobe would have had less trophies if he hadn’t been traded to l.a. but he would still be kobe. david thorpe often says that there is a special category of players whose individual performance is not affected by coaching, teammates, etc. they don’t need to be motivated and they don’t need special circumstances to thrive. currently in the nba, i’d say kobe, lebron, kd, dwight and cp3 are in that category. there is not a system, a coach or teammates that can prevent them from racking up their usual numbers.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Greatness, fairly or unfairly, is often defined just as much by luck as by skill.
    Some great players are never surrounded with the best teammates, or they suffer injuries. Kobe was fortunate to play with Shaq and Phil. No doubt they made it easier to win those rings, which in turn boosted his legacy. Without those rings, who knows what his legacy would be.
    But, look at someone like KG. He has always been great. His level of play didn’t change because his situation did, but he did manage to get a ring which changed how people view his career.
    Or Steve Nash.
    Or Dirk.
    The Lakers organization did not make Kobe great. It did affect his legacy, in my opinion.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen, did you really just say he’d put up LeBron numbers? You think Kobe would have put up 28 7 7 (ish) if he were on a team solely revolved around him? Really now? – I agree with everything else you said.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Kobe was never the passer young, pippen-less MJ was, not even close. There was a time Doug Collins inserted MJ into the starting PG role and dude reeled off 9 triple doubles in a 11gm stretch. MJ was a great passer and I think because Pip evolved into such a great playmaker, people tend to forget that and looked at MJ as strictly a scorer. Dude put up numbers in ’88 that even someone like Bron hasn’t even come close to touching.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Yes, why not?
    He’s at right around 6 assists now. And Mike Brown is his coach.
    Imagine if they opened up the tempo, Kobe was the offensive focal point, and he was young and getting to rack. He could have had so many easy dropoffs to bigs, or hitting spot up shooter.
    I think Kobe was confined somewhat by the triangle as a scorer and as a passer. Think about Kobe’s game as a youngin’, how easily he attacked off the bounce back then and the bevy of moves he had. I think he definitely could have put up 28, 7 and 7.
    That still would have been below the best that LeBron and Jordan have done, but pretty impressive.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Also, what are the thing(s) apart from long-range shooting that kobe does better than MJ?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Kobe’s avg. 5apg this season.
    In 04-05 with Rudy T as his coach, 26yr-old Kobe avg. a career high 6apg along with 6rpg and 27.6.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Actually, he put up 30, 7 and 6, or just about, in 2002-2003. Plus 2.2 steals. Check the numbers.
    30 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists. And we all know the Lakers liked to run a slower offense instead of pushing the pace.
    Kobe is without a doubt a chucker. But I remember JOrdan. Jordan chucked like a bandit. He just typically settled for fewer jumpers. One, because he was smarter. Two, because nobody could stay in front of him and the illegal defense rules were way stricter.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I honestly could see the assists happening. Not the rebounding though. And I don’t really know if a faster paced would have really changed much for Kobe. Maybe a couple more assists, but he pretty much is an iso-offensive player. The triangle opened up just as much as it took away – imo – it’s was/is his dominant teammates that prevent him from having higher assist numbers. (But how low would his efficiency of been if he played in a 2006 Cleveland type system?) – But I could never see him being over 6RPG, he is all perimeter on defense.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Oh well there goes my theory on his rebounding. that was a dumb overlook lol – my bad

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So…the cavs with Bron ran a fast-paced offense?
    04-05 Cavs- 19th in Pace
    05-06 Cavs- 19th in Pace
    06-07 Cavs- 18th in Pace
    07-08 Cavs- 25th in Pace
    08-09 Cavs- 25th in Pace
    09-10 Cavs- 25th in Pace

  • Yaya

    Didn’t Kobe tell certain teams not to draft him? Didn’t Kobe want to go to the Lakers and with the help of his daddy, that is how he went to LA? This seems like a good story. Kobe was not a kid just happy to go to any team that wanted him.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    No the Cavs with LeBron ran an open system that let him dictate the offense. I don’t know how efficient Kobe would have been in those circumstances. It was unrelated to the fast paced portion of my comment.

  • Zabbah

    LDub you’re talking sh*t.

  • Ldub

    I guess T-money and Allenp are somehow connected telepathically? Crazy how you guys both basically said the same exact thing. My opinion mirrors what you have both stated…Kobes legacy would have been great no matter what team he played with…but to what level? We could make the same argument for Jordan (without phil, pip, rodman, etc). Winning is synonymous with greatness. If Bron never wins…he will be considered great for his “stats” but it wont mean the same. Wont have the same value. If Kobe was on a bad team, we might not have gotten to see him be Jordanish in the playoffs/finals. We were lucky to see a few make it, but because they didnt win, it sort of taints the legacy. (Allen Iverson)—Kobe would have been a beast, no doubt. But would he be on such a high pedestal as he is now? The argument can be made on both sides.

  • Ldub

    @Zabbah….WTH are you talking about?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nah, I agree that his legacy would be different, much, much different. Just not his game.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Allen – “Two, because nobody could stay in front of him and the illegal defense rules were way stricter.” – I’d rather play today where guys like Derek Harper can’t literally steer you around the perimeter.

  • MikeC.

    I remember reading about Kobe’s agent telling teams not to draft him unless they were trading him to LA. This sounds like revisionist history to me. Kobe manufacturing motivation in a seemingly wasted season of his career.

  • T-Money

    Sometimes I think rings get too much play in basketball to determine greatness. It matters somewhat in football and not at all in baseball. I dont care that Dirk won a ring, Karl Malone is still better. Wilt is still a better player to me than Russell even though Russell won a million rings.

  • Algren

    Kobe is rewriting history here kids. HE WARNED TEAMS NOT TO DRAFT HIM!
    He had his wishlist and that was that.

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    @T-Money how is Bill Russell not better when almost every ring he won was a match-up against Wilt? Nevermind the fact that the Finals MVP is now named after him. The Ring is the only thing in sports. Everyone remembers you. People only know Wilt for the 100 point game. That’s it period. He was not a winner. Kobe cares about that next ring more than any of the other ones he’s won. Wilt only cared about money and himself which is why he doesn’t have much championship swag. If you don’t beleive in the rings you don’t believe in much my man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @Cheif Wilt wasn’t a winner?? Word? He’s only known for the 100-point game? F’Real?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom


  • manu

    iverson + shaq would’ve been three rings
    mac + shaq would’ve been three rings
    VC + shaq would’ve been three rings

    kobe doesn’t have more skill than any of those guys he just has a better work ethic and drive

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    ^^^^^^^manu you a dummy.
    DOn’t ever compare AI, MAC or VC to KOBE. There is a reason MJ feels Kobe can only be compared to him. AI couldn’t play with anyone, he ran of Larry Hughes, Stackhouse and others then he got ran off like a vagabond. MAC could not win a 1st round series when up on Detroit 3-1 and couldn’t lead good teams to anything-playoff wins-mainly 1st round. VC greatest triumph is a dunk over a 7ft scrub and graduating from UNC before a playoff game. VC is softer than tissue and never worked hard to be more than a dunker. KOBE led two teams to a ring as the leader and led teams as co leader with Shaq to three rings. BOOK IT!!

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    @Black Phantom Wilt won two championships and Bill Russell won ten. In that era where Wilt is looked at as the dominant big man he could only muster two chips to Bill Russell’s ten. The celtics won 8 in a row before Wilt got over that hump and then he only did it once after. He then lost again to Bill Russell when he had Jerry West and Elgin Baylor on his squad. He was always focused on his own stats, not winning chips. And history shows us that.



    I remember http://youtu.be/Oz_exnhq9lI

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kobe failed to get out of the first round with the same sort of teams TMac couldn’t get out of the first round. don’t be fooled.
    Iverson didn’t run off anybody. Larry Brown refused to let him play the point, and the Sixers gave up on Stackhouse and Hughes they both played the two guard. And then I think they stupidly drafted Tim Thomas.
    I hate revisionist history. I don’t know if Iverson could have won three rings with Shaq honestly, but I wouldn’t be so sure he couldn’t. Y’all are tripping if y’all are that certain. Scrubs don’t put up 33 and 8. they just don’t.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe team was ten times worst than the any of McGrady Rocket and Magic teams. You should know that. Bball knowledge dude.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    AI didn’t want to play and share the ball, you must have forgot. Also AI is not winning with Shaq, AI and Shaq would not get along, to make it work. AI did run off those players, go reread past articles. Bball knowledge dude.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Indeed, the Sixers and Pistons probably improved themselves for very different reasons, but when it all shakes out, half the players involved may be playing elsewhere next season and the other half could be worse off for the experience.

    First, Philly. In two full seasons and seven weeks of a third, the Sixers compiled a 46-140 record with Stackhouse–the fellow once deemed their savior, the next Jordan, the cornerstone, whatever–in their lineup. Even Stackhouse admits, “It was time to shake up things a little bit. Sometimes, it’s not the addition of a player, it’s the subtraction.”

    Indeed, it’s a chemistry move for the Sixers, who had compiled a year’s worth of evidence that Stackhouse and Allen Iverson could not coexist. Overnight, things happened quickly: Jimmy Jackson moved back to shooting guard, Ratliff and Scott Williams shared the center minutes, Derrick Coleman returned to claim his power forward spot, Tim Thomas became the starting small forward and Clarence Weatherspoon moved one step closer to the exit.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    April, 2008 article
    Yet he is 0-6 in his playoff careers. This 2008 season he has a big burden on his shoulders. His twenty two game winning streak is the second greatest winning streak in NBA history but he can’t get out the first round of the playoffs. This is when players are judged. He may be one of the fifty players to play the game but he will never be considered to be in that category because those fifty players have gotten out of the first round of the playoffs.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    I think the biggest thing that separates kobe from jordan is athleticsm. Kobe is an excellent athlete but jordan was an absolute FREAK. people forget Joran was stronger, faster, and quicker which is why nobody could stay in front of him, so that he didn’t have to take long jumpshots despite him not having as good of a crossover necessarily as kobe.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    not to start a kobe vs jordan debate here tho lol

  • cinquet

    the nets upper management tol calapari not to draft kobe and to draft kerry kittles. He never refuse to play for the nets.

  • Justin G.

    Isn’t it obvious that AI had an advantage coming out of that draft in that he had played for 4 more years than Kobe? Kobe was 17, Iverson was 21 and had played at Georgetown. He was more ready to take on a team “maturity” (and I use the term loosely) wise. Also saying Kobe might not have won if he started on a bad team is dumb too. Maybe his team’s record isn’t very good, they get a great draft pick, and become a great team. Maybe he doesn’t win in his first 7 years like the way Michael didn’t but with smart drafting and trading they win a bunch? You can’t just say it wouldn’t have happened because there are way too many factors that COULD make it happen. And how is Kobe rewriting history here? He was asked about the teams that passed him over and he was repeating some of the conversations he had. He didn’t say they all passed him over for something better. Sometimes the haters like to read things that just aren’t there. @The Seed…nobody would compare VC to Kobe now, but back then it was very debatable. Carter was more athletically gifted than Kobe, was bigger and stronger. The difference was in the mental side of the game. Vince relied too much on his God-given talents (kind of like Dwight now) and didn’t push himself to become as great as he could have been. I don’t think there’s anyone who would dispute that had Vince been as mentally tough as Kobe that we wouldn’t be talking about Carter being one of the all time greats at this point in his career as well. Quite frankly, I’m more shocked that someone said Wilt was not a winner and will only be remembered for his 100 point game period.

  • Cool Dude

    There are a ton of statistics on why Wilt isn’t considered a winner. Some of these include the fact that he would start slacking in close games because he wanted to avoid getting fouled, or rest on defense to avoid fouling (because he wanted to preserve his streak of never fouling out any game). In the playoffs over 160 games, Wilt averages 22.5 pts, 24.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 47% FT, 52% FG. Russel put up over 165 playoff games 16.2/24.9/4.7/60%/43%. Those are pretty comparable numbers, which is further indication that against real competition, Wilt did not seem nearly as extraordinary as he did when feasting on 6’4 unathletic white guys. Wilt was a terrible team player throughout his career (probably similar to kobe in 06-07) and had a 4-5 record in game 7′s and 10-11 record in elimination games.

  • bk

    @chief…. It must be amatuer hour…… First of all bill Russell won 11 rings…. And wilt only being remembered for the 100 point game? Well I guess that happens when your a 7 time scoring champion who once scored 4029 points in a single season at 50.4 pergame. But don’t forget he was an 11 time rebounding champ with career average of 22.9…… Man, he even lead the league in assists one year….. From the center position…… So don’t come here making it sound like you know something about basketball

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    That article condensed Stackhouse not Iverson. And I do t need old articles because I actually lived through that era.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp


  • Chukaz

    I’m a huge Kobe fan, but this dude is nuts. He should go see a therapist or something. I can totally see him going to a Subway asking for light mayo, being told they only got regular and him using that as motivation. He’d stay late after practice because they guy at Subway denied him light mayo and he’ll prove Subway guy wrong. I can also see him going to a Best Buy looking for a 4D TV, being told they don’t exist, going off on the team he’s facing that night, looking at the camera and yelling “Hey, guy from Best Buy that claims 4D TVs don’t exist, how’s that for 4D, b*tch!”

  • Cameron

    @chukaz…the 4d tv bit gave me a chuckle

  • Michael

    If you go back and look at the 02-03 season Kobe averaged 28, 8 , and 8 for the first two months of the season. He had 5 tripple doubles in December alone. But the Lakers were losing. Then he switched it up and started shooting everytime down the court and they started winning. He hasn’t stopped shooting since.

  • JRSD

    Seriously the people on here saying stuff about Kobe didn’t do crap his first 2 seasons in the league and nobody was outraged that he wasn’t starting. Are you guys idiots. Kobe came to a deep & loaded Laker team in his rookie season that was expected to be title contenders. Eddie Jones was already an all star player. Kobe’s 2nd year in the league he averaged 15 points a game off the bench playing no more than 30 minutes per game. Oh and are people forgetting that Kobe was voted in as the youngest ever NBA all star starter in the 1998 season which was his second season. The point is that AI came came to a sorry Sixers team and was able to put up some off the chart stats while Kobe rode the bench his first 2 years on very deep & talented Laker team. The fact that Kobe is now 5th on the career all time scoring list and is still climbing and will no doubt pass Michael Jordan says a hell of a lot considering he didn’t even play that much his first 2 seasons.

  • bar

    two words…… JERRY WEST

  • bar

    for that guy who said kobe could not get out of the first round…. his teammates were smush parker…kwame brown…. enough said.