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Kobe Bryant Declined a Trade to the Detroit Pistons in 2007 After Phone Call With Jerry Buss

Kobe Bryant declined trade to Detroit Pistons in 2007
Lisa Blumenfeld, Getty Images

Kobe Bryant declined a trade to the Detroit Pistons in 2007 after phone call with late Lakers owner, Jerry Buss. Yesterday Jerry Buss lost the battle to cancer and passed away.  The sports world was mourning the day after the NBA All Star break.  One of the best Laker players, Kobe Bryant, spoke on his relationship with famed Lakers owner.

In 2007, Kobe was upset with the direction of the Lakers team after Shaquille O’Neal left for Miami.  Kobe demanded a trade and the team granted his request but not to a favorable destination.  Kobe had to approve the trade by waiving his no trade clause to send him to the Detroit Pistons.

Late owner Jerry Buss called Bryant at home with the news. Buss told Kobe that a trade was ready but it was Detroit and it was necessary for Bryant to approve it soon so the issue wouldn’t linger on.  Bryant had an epiphany after the phone call.  Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Monday, February 18th, 2013,

“It hit me that I didn’t really want to walk out on Dr. Buss.”

Bryant understood Buss was known for producing championship caliber teams and was able to do it again.  Months later the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol and won two more championships.  With that move, Buss has to go down as the greatest professional sports owner of all time.

Even though it worked out in Los Angeles for Kobe after 2007, do you think accepting the trade to Detroit would have been a good look?


via Yahoo Sports

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