Everyone remembers back in 2004 when Kobe Bryant seriously considered leaving the Lakers to join the crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers. Many don’t realize that Bryant almost started his career with the Clippers.
During his ‘Kobe Up Close’ special on AXS TV, Bryant revealed that he worked out for the Clippers and they were extremely impressed with him, but ultimately passed on him.
According to Kobe:
I had a great workout with the Clippers and they told me it was the best workout they had ever seen. So I said ‘are you gonna draft me?’ and they said no. I asked why and they said ‘We are looking to turn the franchise around and we don’t think the city of Los Angeles would get behind us drafting a 17 year old kid.’
You read that right folks. The good folks across Staples Center believed LA couldn’t back a young 17-year-old phenom. The Clippers would instead take Lorenzen Wright with the 7th pick in the 1996 Draft while Bryant would slide to 13th and the rest is history.
That just goes to show the difference in the organizations. The Lakers were always looking ahead and weren’t afraid to take a chance on a young kid with the potential to blossom into a superstar, and they now have five more rings to show for it.
Kobe just wouldn’t look right in red and blue anyway. This all happened for a reason.
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