Report: Kobe Bryant wanted to join Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan
Since being traded to the team on draft day in 1996, Kobe Bryant has been a career-long Laker.
Bryant even recently compared his loyalty to the team to the Titanic, stating:
"If this was the Titanic, I'm going down with the ship. I'm not jumping off."
Bryant's devotion to the only team he has played for professionally is evident. He could have left L.A. to chase championships elsewhere in the twilight of his career, instead of toiling around on lottery-bound Laker teams, and blowing out his body in the process. After five championships, and countless individual accolades, no one would have blamed him.
Bryant didn't bolt, however. His Los Angeles loyalty – and a fat contract – kept him in purple and gold, and at this point, it seems quite clear that Bryant will retire, whenever he decides to, as a Los Angeles Laker.
Although he never made a move, Bryant did consider other options. He notoriously toyed with the idea of leaving the Lakers for the same city's other basketball franchise.
Also, according to a recent report from The Washington Post, Bryant wanted to join the Washington Wizards more than a decade ago. There, he would have joined forces with Michael Jordan, who was in the midst of a second comeback and a two-season stint with the Wizards.
"That's true," Bryant told The Post, regarding his desire to join Jordan in D.C.
"A long time ago? Yeah."
Although Jordan was well past his prime at that point, it would have been almost surreal to see the game's greatest suited up alongside the "next generation's Jordan."
Jordan had ventured into ownership at that point of his career, and Bryant felt that he could do great things under Jordan, once the latter had returned to the front office after his playing days. When asked what would have happened had he and Jordan teamed up in the country's capital, Kobe didn't equivocate:
"We would have put together a great team, and we would have won championships."
Could Kobe and Michael have created something special with the Wizards in Washington had they joined forces? It is possible, but at this point we will never know. Jordan is busy trying to build the new-look Hornets back into a contender, and Bryant, facing season-ending shoulder surgery, faces an uncertain future.
Follow Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb