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Kobe Bryant was almost traded to Detroit in 1999

Pistons offered to trade Grant Hill for Bryant, Jackson says

Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and Stanley Johnson (3) of the Detroit Piston fight for a rebound under the Detroit basket, during NBA action, November 15, 2015 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and Stanley Johnson (3) of the Detroit Piston fight for a rebound under the Detroit basket, during NBA action, November 15, 2015 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

DETROIT – Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s greatest players, was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles.

FULL DETAILS: Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career. He was the son of former Philadelphia 76ers player Joe Bryant.

Officials with the Los Angeles Fire Department are holding a press conference on the crash at 5 p.m. It can be seen here.

His legacy with the Los Angeles Lakers might not have happened if a trade in 1999 went through. According to former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, the Detroit Pistons offered to trade Grant Hill for Bryant.

After weighing his options, Jackson said he thought Bryant would be one of the best players in NBA history in time, and decided to not trade the future All-Star.

Hill left the Pistons for the Orlando Magic in 2000. He currently the co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks.


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