Did you know… that at one point, the Los Angeles Lakers briefly considered trading a young Kobe Bryant for Grant Hill?
Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson recently discussed the topic, saying the team thought about it for a very brief moment, during the 1999-2000 NBA season, but apparently, it never close to consummation.
“For a few minutes, I thought about taking the Pistons up on an offer they made to trade Kobe for Grant Hill. Make that a few seconds,” Jackson said, in an interview for Today’s Fastbreak.
At the time, Kobe requested a trade, because he was unhappy coming off the bench, because even then, he believed he was gonna be on the best NBA players ever.
“The thing was that Kobe already saw himself as being one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. I thought that, in time, he would indeed reach that goal,” Jackson explained.
“Anyway, he was not going to be traded. So we’d talk about being patient, and letting the game come to him. But Kobe would sometimes still go off on his own, disregarding the offense and trying to single-handedly take over the game. When I called him on this, he’d say that for us to keep on winning, there was a lot for him to do,” he continued.
Obviously, Kobe would develop into a superstar, a legend, and win five titles for the Lakers and himself before retiring. Grant, however, was thought to be one of the top players of his era, but injuries derailed his career.
NBA history would’ve been much different had the trade taken place.