The Los Angeles Lakers rolled the dice back in 1996 by sending Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets in a trade for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant out of Lower Merion High School. Kobe was a bit of a wildcard back then with no one knowing what to expect out of the confident 17-year-old out of Philadelphia.
It didn’t take long before the Lakers brass were able to get a taste of things to come with the rising star torching the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Summer League that year.
Playing alongside Derek Fisher, Kobe showed his ability to dominate an opponent on the offensive end of the floor. Kobe scored a game-high 36 points while getting it done all over the floor.
Obviously, the move to acquire Kobe paid off better than anyone could’ve anticipated. Kobe eventually led the Lakers to five NBA titles over the course of his career and is considered to be one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Once Kobe decides to walk away from the game, which could be two years from now, the superstar will get all the perks of a Lakers legend. Kobe will definitely have a spot in the Hall of Fame, a retired jersey hanging in the rafters at the Staples Center and a statue outside the arena.
Only a matter of time before Kobe is immortalized in bronze alongside the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chick Hearn and Jerry West outside of arena in Downtown Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant’s message to Jeremy Lin