Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 9:50 am  |  14 responses

Kobe Bryant Vetoed a Trade to the Detroit Pistons in 2007

You might recall that a furious Kobe Bryant wanted out of Los Angeles in 2007, and when he was told by the late Jerry Buss that a deal was in place to send him to the Detroit Pistons, Kobe used his no-trade clause to kill the move. Bryant eventually realized that he was better off remaining a Laker for life. Per Yahoo! Sports and the Detroit News: “The Pistons and Lakers agreed in principle on a deal but Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, who passed away early Monday, and Bryant, who wanted out of Los Angeles but Detroit wasn’t one of his preferred destinations, passed. A source confirmed the Pistons and Lakers agreed on a deal, which most likely included Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Amir Johnson and a future first-round pick for Bryant, who wound up being the 2007-08 MVP. Another league source said former Piston Grant Hill, who was a free agent that summer as a member of the Orlando Magic, would’ve likely returned to the Pistons to fill Prince’s void at small forward. [...] After all the anger and angst and fury of the immediate post-Shaq era had inspired Kobe Bryant to make a trade demand, Jerry Buss finally called his superstar guard to the owner’s home in the Los Angeles hills on an autumn evening in 2007. The Los Angeles Lakers had found a trade for Bryant, but Buss warned him that it wasn’t to one of his selected destinations. ‘Detroit,’ Buss said. The Lakers had agreed to a deal to send Bryant to the Pistons and needed Bryant’s approval to waive his no-trade clause. The package included a combination of Detroit’s core players and draft picks, sources say. Buss and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak needed an answer soon, because they refused to let the issue linger into training camp. Looking back, Bryant isn’t sure it would’ve mattered whether it was Detroit or Chicago, Dallas or New York. In that moment, in Buss’ house in the hills, it washed over Bryant how much staying a Laker for life meant to him, how no matter how dire the state of the franchise seemed, that Buss had a history of restoring the Lakers to championship contention. ‘It hit me that I didn’t really want to walk out on Dr. Buss,’ Bryant said. Months later, Kupchak honored Buss’ faith and made the trade for Pau Gasol. Soon, the Lakers were back in the NBA Finals three straight years and winning two more titles. Soon, Bryant was back to understanding the inevitable essence of Jerry Buss’ prowess: In the end, the old man was a force of nature.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.brodes Jay Brodes

    i could not see kb in a pistons uni..maybe chicago but the pistons..heck no! glad he stayed purple and gold!

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Iverson was traded to the Pistons before his MVP season. Matt Geiger didn’t wave his trade kicker so it didn’t happen. Detroit missed out on 2 of the best SGs to ever play.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    that woulda been weird

  • Zabbah

    Paragraphs. Please use paragraphs, you dumbasses. You guy’s are sportswriters, be professional.

  • hambone

    ai played for the pistons!

  • http://www.facebook.com/faraan.akhtar Faraan Akhtar

    wasn’t he also going to be traded to the bulls in 2007?

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Wouldn’t exactly call them “dumbasses”. Also can’t call people “dumbasses” and in the next sentence put an apostrophe in a place where it doesn’t belong. Given the reputation SLAM has because of the work they’ve done, I’m sure someone knows something.

  • a_whiteman_23

    if you dont like it dont read it son, great post slam keep it up!

  • T-man

    At the end of his career, yes. But he was almost sent there before his historic 2001 run.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    it’s not significant. otherwise they’ve done it long time ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    Pluto ay, Kobe?

  • Mike From Spain

    What would have the Pistons achieved with Kobe and Grant Hill? They still had Rasheed Wallace, Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups, that’d have been a dope team.

  • Zeek

    As a die hard piston fan. Thank you Kobe.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    As Salamu Alaykum ikwa