Joe Dumars recalls Pistons’ near trade for Kobe Bryant: ‘It was that close’

Joe Dumars recalls Pistons' near trade for Kobe Bryant: 'It was that close'

Howard Beck welcomes Hall of Famer Joe Dumars. The former Pistons Bad Boy is now the NBA’s discipline czar, part of his new role as executive vice president and head of basketball operations. Dumars discusses his approach to the job, then reflects at length on his tenure as Pistons GM.

The following transcript is an excerpt from The Crossover NBA podcast. Listen to the full episode on podcast players everywhere gold we SI.com.

Beck: I know it’s been written about, and you’ve discussed it, but it’s just such a fun story that I have to ask. The 2007 Kobe Bryant trade that never happened …

Dumars: Yeah, it was myself and Mitch Kupchak. The current [Lakers] GM Rob Pelinka was obviously involved ’cause he was representing Kobe at the time, and Bill Davidson, the Pistons’ owner, and Jerry Buss. Those were the people that knew the deal. Mitch Kupchak and I went back and forth about parameters. This is when Kobe was saying, I want out. Lakers aren’t trying to win. I want out. It was two teams that Mitch felt like had enough pieces to do a deal for Kobe. It was us and Chicago. Mitch called and said, Look, love to work out something with you. Take us a couple days to work it out. And then we agreed on the deal.

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