How sure was Kobe Bryant that he was going to join the Bulls in 2007? The Lakers star said Sunday that he and his wife were about to start looking at homes and schools in the area.
Speaking to the press prior to his final game at the United Center, Bryant thought about how different things could have been.
Bryant recently revealed that Chicago was one of three teams he would have approved a trade to in 2007, and the Bulls were reportedly at the top of that list.
According to a previous Sun-Times report, the Bulls and Lakers tried to work out a trade in which the super star would go to Chicago, but couldn’t reach a deal that Bryant would approve.
Kobe Bryant took a picture with P.J. Rose before his final game at the United CenterLos Angeles was asking for a return of Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Ben Gordon and Joakim Noah, but Bryant wanted Deng to stay in Chicago, where the two could be teammates, the report said.
Fast forward nine years and Bryant will play for the final time in the arena he could have made his home. It will be just his 15th career game in Chicago, but if Bryant had gotten his way, there could have been so many more.
Things worked out okay for the future Hall of Famer. With Pau Gasol by his side, Bryant won his first MVP award and two more NBA championships.
The Bulls? Not so much. Chicago has achieved only moderate success during that time frame, highlighted by a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, Derrick Rose’s MVP season.
Stats via Basketball-Reference