LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — How close was Kobe Bryant to becoming a Motown legend?
The Lakers guard revealed to ESPN Radio’s Bill Simmons he vetoed a trade in 2007 that would have sent him to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and unspecified draft picks.READ MORE: LA City Council To Vote Tuesday On Ghost Gun Ban
In the interview posted Monday, Bryant said he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause for the deal, which would have essentially gutted the same Pistons team that just three seasons prior won its third NBA title.
“I said, ‘I gave you a list of teams that I’m comfortable being traded to. That wasn’t one of them, so no,” said Bryant.
While it was no secret that Bryant had seriously considered leaving the Lakers for a contender after the loss of Shaquille O’Neal to Miami, the then-29-year-old had a short list of teams he was willing to be traded to.READ MORE: LA Special Counselor To Plead Guilty To $2.2M LADWP Kickback Scheme, Bribing LADWP Officials
At the top of that list?
“Chicago was my No.1 choice for a destination,” he said.
When asked if Bryant had entertained the thought of leaving behind the floundering Lakers – who currently have one of the league’s worst records at 14-41 – he said such a move doesn’t reflect “who he is.”
“For me to ask for a trade or go play somewhere else to chase a championship, that’s not me,” Bryant said. “That’s not what my career has been about. That’s not who I am. I stay with it. … You’re the captain of the ship. If the ship goes down, you go down with the ship!”MORE NEWS: Undisclosed Forensic Evidence Found In Search For Heidi Planck
The interview was part of a promotional effort ahead of the debut of the Showtime documentary “Kobe Bryant’s ‘MUSE’” on Feb. 28.