What If…The Charlotte Hornets Never Traded Kobe Bryant?

January 3rd, 2010 by Eddie Becker Leave a reply »
Hindsight is always 20/20, but it proves even more gut wrenching when you're talking about saving a city's franchise.

In the 1996 NBA draft, the now relocated Charlotte Hornets selected Kobe Bryant with their 13th selection overall.  They would eventually trade his draft rights away to the Lakers for center Vlade Divac.

Looking back now, the Hornets obviously would never have done the deal, though Bryant insistence that he not play for Charlotte was going to override any decision the Hornets made.  Still, what could have been?

First you have to understand the love affair between the Hornets and the city of Charlotte.  Getting an NBA franchise in 1988, the Hornets didn't go long until they became on of the most popular teams in the NBA.  In fact, in the 1996-97 season, the Hornets ranked first in the league in attendance.

Prior to that season, the Hornets did have an obvious need for a center.  Trading away star big man Alonzo Mourning the season before to the Heat had left a void in the post.  They did get Anthony Mason from the Knicks, but lack of a big man became the issue. 

So that combined with Kobe's teenage lu ...

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NBA
Article written by


Comments are closed.