Recently, former Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac has opened up about the infamous 1996 trade that sent him to the Charlotte Hornets for then-rookie Kobe Bryant.
Divac spoke about considering retirement instead of going to Charlotte as he wanted to remain in Los Angeles where he had spent his entire career to that point.
Looking back on it now, however, Divac believes that the move ultimately was good for him as he revealed in an interview with Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
“Going to Charlotte and being there two years, I missed L.A., but it was good for me”
Divac also added that he’s happy with the way things turned out and that he would trade himself for Kobe again:
“Now, from this distance, I’m very happy that he went to L.A. and had the career that he had and became one of the greatest players,” Divac said. “I have a lot of respect for him. I think he brought to the league something special. We’re all thankful for the career he’s had […] I would trade myself for Kobe, no-brainer.”
The fans of Los Angeles are also happy that Kobe went to Los Angeles as he would help bring the franchise five NBA championships in his illustrious 20 year career and become arguably the greatest player to ever wear a Lakers uniform.
Had this trade not gone through, the history of the league would be completely different. Kobe in another uniform just wouldn’t seem right, but it could have happened.