Cohen’s Analysis: Okay, okay there is a lot to dissect here. Word has it that the Lakers and Charlotte Hornets agreed to the draft-day trade in 1996 a day before Kobe was selected 13th overall. It’s also been stated that L.A. didn’t tell Charlotte whom to pick until five minutes before the selection was made.

It’s been believed that Bryant had absolutely no desire to play for the Hornets, which suggests Charlotte wouldn’t have picked him if the trade weren’t agreed upon. It acquired Vlade Divac in the deal and the trade is often categorized as the most lopsided swap in NBA history.

However, for the sake of having fun, imagine Kobe rising to the top in North Carolina and then Louisiana when the franchise relocated in 2002. And if he indeed stayed with one team his entire career, Bryant would be sporting a Pelicans jersey right now.

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