Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant has been on his farewell tour for the entire 2015-2016 season, and with just four games left this season, a story about how Bryant almost became a Detroit Piston is coming out.</p>
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According to CBS Sports , Bryant "had given his condition OK to be dealt to Detroit before rejecting it at the 11th hour."
The article said Bryant was frustrated with back-to-back first-round exits in the playoffs in 2007 and he was demanding a trade.
In the 2007 preseason, Mitch Kupchak, who was the Lakers' general manager at the time, and Joe Dumars, had been quietly discussing a blockbuster deal for Bryant.
That deal, according to CBS Sports , would send Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and two first-round picks to Los Angeles for Bryant.
"According to one account from a person briefed on the timeline, Dumars was at a preseason game against the Mavericks when he got a call from Kupchak, who spoke the following words: 'We're good to go,'" the article reads.
A source told CBS Sports , "The deal was done," and that they were just waiting to set up a call with the NBA office.
One of the people involved in the negotiations told CBS Sports that Kobe even signed off on the deal.
According to CBS , the Pistons knew the deal was dead when Bryant and Dr. Jerry Buss wanted to meet in person because of the relationship they had.
Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2016 but was re-published after Bryant's 2020 death.