It was … Those tributes came from people Bryant shared the floor with during his basketball career, those he inspired to come after him, as well as those outside of basketball entirely. pic.twitter.com/6Lv6FyfKEg, For Kobe and Gigi.

He agreed to give it a shot in Charlotte. Seven days later, Shaq and the Lakers inked a seven-year, $120 million contract, thus adding two of the greatest players of all time to a core that included Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, and Cedric Ceballos -- the latter of which the Lakers traded that same season for Robert Horry.

Now, there's a perfectly good reason those The 1996 NBA draft was the 50th draft in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A better scorer, better mentor, better father, better champion. From June 26 to July 11, the Lakers, Hornets and Divac were at a stalemate. That's where West and Tellem came in. Its the first time I will not be able 2 say #HappyBirthday I will never get use tothat. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. Commissioner.com is a registered trademark of CBS Interactive Inc. site: media | arena: nba | pageType: stories | But to be fair to the then-soon-to-be-ex-coach of the Nets, his team wasn't the only one that passed on Kobe Bryant in the '96 Draft. He knew what was best for him.

As we consider Kobe’s legacy, perhaps the most impressive part of his career is that hardly anyone expected it.

How long would that have lasted?

He'd worked hard to become entrenched in that organization and the fans had fallen in love with him. 24 jersey, which he wore with the Lakers from 2007 to the end of his career in 2016.

They had a couple of guards already, a couple small forwards already. Perhaps this is true. I asked Bass what he’d do if Divac didn’t relent and Bass said he’d keep Bryant. Email. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh... "Thank you for showing me what real love is. "Cowens told me, 'We don't really need you here,'" Bryant said. In retrospect, the 1996 draft class turned out pretty well. pic.twitter.com/Wr26KpWKSG. But in order to have the money to pay Shaq what he was clearly going to demand on the open market, the Lakers couldn't pay Bryant top dollar right away. And Kobe as a Hornet? WhatsApp. Second of two parts. On this difficult day for his family, we send them love and prayers, and comfort from happy memories of their time together. The only question was: How was Kobe going to get there? For starters, 12 teams had to pass on him. The Sixers, Raptors, Grizzlies, Bucks, Timberwolves, Celtics, Clippers, Nets, Mavericks, Pacers, Warriors and Cavaliers all went a different direction until the Hornets took Bryant at 13 and later traded him to the Lakers. It also sparked a trend carried out by several other teams in later games. Marcus Camby, Toronto Raptors. Today, on his birthday, we continue his endless pursuit of better. "[Hornets coach Dave] Cowens told me he didn't want me. There are now only two players that have scored more points than LeBron James in NBA History.. On Saturday, the 35-year-old passed fellow Laker great Kobe Bryant on the all-time scoring list with a driving layup in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' meeting with the Philadelphia 76ers. 6-keys: media/spln/nba/reg/free/stories, at Back then, Kevin Garnett had only rebroken the seal of high school players going straight to the NBA one year earlier, and there was still plenty of skepticism about an 18-year-old making that jump. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Your Privacy Controls. In addition to the 24-second violations, multiple teams intentionally took eight-second backcourt violations as a way to honor Kobe's original No. Defense, rebounding and leadership were the qualities that made …

Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! We ❤️U #Kobe pic.twitter.com/Uy0tdZlpd8, Happy 42nd Birthday my guy. This seems like a pretty convenient piece of revisionist history considering Kobe had largely grown up in Italy, but that's what he says. Friday, when Kobe Bryant led the Lakers into Madison Square Garden, we looked back at the 1996 NBA Draft, and how so many teams could have been so wary/wrong about someone so g… The only problem? A run of big men (Samaki Walker to Dallas, Erick Dampier to Indiana, Todd Fuller to Golden State, and Vitaly Potapenko to Cleveland) created the dream scenario for Kobe, who was taken at No. We think about you often To Vanessa & the girls we r always here for you I know U will be strong because he is part of you. You did it in places like Los Angeles. The wild story of how Kobe Bryant nearly ended up with the Nets — and several others teams — in the legendary 1996 NBA draft Scott Davis 2020-02-10T15:10:04Z

Perhaps Divac truly held the future of the Lakers, and in many ways the NBA as a whole, in his hands. Eventually, working with Scott Howard-Cooper, then of the Los Angeles Times, we figured out this was the deal: If Bryant lasted to the Hornets’ 13th pick, they would select him and deal him to the Lakers for Divac’s pre-existing contract. 3rd in NBA history! A few weeks into his rookie season I caught up with Bryant at Madison Square Garden before a Knicks game, and asked him what would have happened had Divac retired. Instead, they went with the safer pick of Kerry Kittles. pic.twitter.com/oe6Lvhllq4. That's just a fact. Kobe Bryant was unquestionably the best player in that class, and arguably the best player of his generation.

13 by Charlotte. Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. Glad you asked. At any rate, Vancouver grabbed Shareef Abdur-Rahim third, and then Minnesota and Milwaukee did one of those draft night swaps involving Stephon Marbury and Ray Allen.

LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, will wear special edition Black Mamba-themed jerseys for their Game 4 against the Portland Trail Blazers. They also appeared in the All-Star game more than 12 times and both are multiple NBA Finals MVP winners. Facebook. ", "I mean, I had grown up watching basketball," Bryant said. Kobe was one of NBA's greatest gifts (3:28) Michael Wilbon reflects on Kobe Bryant's life on and off the court, as he would have turned 42 on Sunday. Michael Wilbon reflects on Kobe Bryant's life on and off the court, as he would have turned 42 on Sunday.

It was a touching and creative way to honor the Lakers legend, who was 41 years old. © 2004-2020 CBS Interactive. On this day 18yrs ago the hornets told me right after they drafted me that they had no use for me and were going to trade me #thanku #lakers. Kobe was, and still is, a very smart guy. Just like that, a dynasty was forged thanks to the indecision and distrust of others, the threats of a camp steadfast on getting Kobe to the place he wanted to play, and the new, scary world of high school kids forgoing college for the opportunity to cash in on millions of dollars. Happy birthday Mamba pic.twitter.com/HStXMYTpUm, On what would have been Kobe Bryant's 42th birthday, a 2 and KB banner surrounds the court as Sixers and Celtics warm up. In retrospect, that quote looks pretty bad for Calipari. He grinned and said he’d be a Hornet, that anything else was just a bluff. Information about your device and internet connection, including your IP address, Browsing and search activity while using Verizon Media websites and apps. Can you imagine Kobe as anything other than a Laker? 8 with the Lakers. To Joe & Pam I understand.

Rumors suddenly began flying that Bryant was willing to play in Italy if he didn't end up with the NBA team of his desire. And so the stakes were set. 1 in draft.

Covering the impact of coronavirus on the sports world, Word of Kobe Bryant's death in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning shook the NBA world to its core. Legends are missed, but never forgotten.I had the pleasure of calling Kobe Bryant my friend for 20 years. "I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi.

6:55 pm ET, Coaching Perspective: Kobe Bryant's Legacy in the NBA, death in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning shook the NBA world to its core, a strong wave of grief across the sports world, NBA Mock Draft: Pistons trade up for Ball, Report: Thunder and Suns engage in CP3 trade talks, Report: Health officials concerned with Dec. 22 start, Report: NBA teams expect Ball to go No.

In honouring Kobe, take a look at some of the most memorable moments and records the Mamba still holds at the All-Star Game. Kobe, allegedly, didn't want to play for the Nets due to a falling out with his family. Players in that game could be seen grieving with one another before and during the game. Then-general manager John Nash and coach John Calipari were in charge of turning the Nets around, and Nash was said to be particularly impressed and almost obsessed with drafting Kobe, as told in Jonathan Abrams's New York Times best-seller Boys Among Men. They felt like they knew something everyone else didn't. That gave West both Bryant and the cap space to pursue O’Neal. As many struggled to process and comprehend the tragedy, the NBA's slate of Sunday games carried on as scheduled. Thank you for inspiring us every day. "I knew who Dave Cowens was and [was] pretty excited [to play for him]. For starters, 12 teams had to pass on him. Guys like eventual top pick Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby and Ray Allen were seen as much safer, if not altogether better picks than Kobe. The Lakers got him. And the draft began.

The NBA and sports worlds are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant on what would have been the Basketball Hall of Famer's 42nd birthday. The tragedy death sparked a strong wave of grief across the sports world on Sunday, with tributes and condolences flowing in from sports figures across the world. Happy birthday from your Lakers family. (USATSI). All-Star: 18 times (played 15 times) - 4 MVP.

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