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‘I thought it was done’: Mavs owner Mark Cuban drops shocking truth bomb on botched Kobe Bryant trade with Lakers

Kobe bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban, Jerry Buss

At the moment, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki are the only two players in NBA history that have stayed with a single franchise for at least 20 years. As it turned out, however, there was a point in Kobe’s career when he nearly joined Dirk with the Dallas Mavericks.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban recently did an interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, and the outspoken billionaire provided the details of a botched Kobe trade deal from 2007. Apparently, Cuban was already in deep discussions with then-Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss about a potential blockbuster deal:

“I was going back and forth with Dr. Buss, and I forgot who called who, I think he called me, actually, and said, ‘Look, we think we might be parting ways with Kobe,’” Cuban said.

As it turns out, however, the deal “all fall apart” when Cuban told a Lakers PA guy named Elvis about it. Word quickly spread and Cuban believes Mitch Kupchak ended up convincing Kobe to stay in LA.

Cuban was then asked about how that particular trade would have worked and how the Mavs would have looked like with Kobe in the mix:

“It would’ve been damn good,” Cuban said. “Dirk was like, ‘I would’ve traded me for Kobe,’ and I’m like, ’No, I’m not gonna trade you, Dirk, that’s the whole point.’”

Rooks had to do a double take on how far along the deal was, and at this point, Cuban made it abundantly clear that he believed they were already at the finish line:

“I thought it was done,” he reiterated. “I thought it was done, yeah. Done. Done. Done. Like, let’s start talking about putting together the trade call.”

Wow. Just wow. It’s nearly impossible to imagine Kobe Bryant in another jersey other than that of the Lakers, but there you have it. What could have been.