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Lakers News: Kobe Bryant ‘Didn’t Back Down From Anybody’ In Pre-Draft Workouts Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="140"] Back in 1996, the Los Angeles Lakers changed forever with the storied franchise acquiring Kobe Bryant in a trade with the Charlotte H [new_royalslider id="140"] Back in 1996, the Los Angeles Lakers changed forever with the storied franchise acquiring Kobe Bryant in a trade with the Charlotte H Rating: 0
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Lakers News: Kobe Bryant ‘Didn’t Back Down From Anybody’ In Pre-Draft Workouts

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Back in 1996, the Los Angeles Lakers changed forever with the storied franchise acquiring Kobe Bryant in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets on draft day and signing free agent Shaquille O’Neal.

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Although considered a gamble on draft day, the Lakers landing Kobe resulted in five NBA titles and numerous milestones set by arguably one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

West’s son, Ryan, was 16 at the time Kobe was brought in for multiple pre-draft workouts with the team. Ryan was only nine months younger than Kobe at the time and he was blown away by his competitive drive, according to an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:

MT: What stood out about Kobe?

West: It was remarkable to see how far advanced a guy that was nine months older than me was. His competitiveness. Michael Cooper, although he had retired, is regarded as one of the greatest perimeter defenders of all time. And Kobe just took the challenge, went right at him, and it was unbelievable to see how skilled he was at that age. He didn’t back down from anybody at all at 17.

Even though the 1996 NBA draft was chalk full of talent with Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen, Peja Stojakovic, Jermaine O’Neal and Steve Nash, GM Jerry West decided to roll the dice on Kobe by trading Vlade Divac for the rights to the 13th pick.

Obviously, after 18 years with the franchise, the gamble has paid off with five more championship banners in the rafters at the Staples Center. Ryan currently works as the Lakers assistant director of scouting and will have the tough task of helping the team decide on who to select with the highest pick in the draft for the franchise since taking James Worthy with the top pick in 1982.

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With the seventh pick in the upcoming draft, the Lakers will have an opportunity to bring in a talented young player that can help get the team back to form. It remains uncertain if the player selected will become the new face of the Lakers franchise in the post-Kobe Bryant era, but there’s definitely some promising prospects that could be available once the Lakers are on the clock on June 26.
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About The Author

Ryan is a senior writer for Lakers Nation and Examiner.com with an undying passion writing about the Los Angeles Lakers. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @Lakers_Examiner

Number of Entries : 1447
  • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

    I still can’t believe how upset I was when the Lakers traded away one of my faves on some high school kid who hadn’t proven a thing. And I hated Shaq at the time because he couldn’t score from more than 2 feet away from the basket. And then they had the audacity to hire the enemy to coach the team!

    Anyone want to consider how front office moves can turn out even when fans disagree with those moves? Not one, not two…

    • Chris

      Clever and true. Perhaps the best move is to do the opposite of what the fans want. Or just pay us no mind. I’m fine with it as long as we win.

      • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

        Me, too, but that’s not quite my point. My point is that all of us fans–who all think we know everything and that the front office is filled with incompetent buffoons when they don’t do what we want–don’t really know as much as we think we do. We are fans because the franchise has been great since its inception and expect it to remain that way. Let’s trust the front office in whatever they decide even if we don’t like it at first.

        Unless they sign Carmelo. Then I’m done… :)

        • LegendInMyMind

          Rare moment of insight and clarity from the fan community. Much appreciated. Of course, there’s a requisite IQ rating needed to understand these concepts, but ya know…

          I have my own preferences and views. I’d rather they didn’t sign Melo as well. It would be bittersweet to get Lebron, as unlikely as that is (because although he is the best player on the planet, I find him boring and predictable), and I think Nick Young is the dumbest professional athlete there is, and the Lakers are unlikely to find a better big man than Pau Gasol, but I’m gonna let the people making the decisions make their decisions.

          • nlruizjr

            c’mon don’t be so harsh on “Swaggy P”, he likes to entertain, plus he’s a shooting guard not a PG and he has improved his defense, plus we need someone that can score 18ppg off the bench, this takes the pressure off of Kobe to take over games, Lakers sign “Swaggy P”, I’d take him all day over Marshall, just sayin

          • wangkon936

            Not enough basketballs on the court for both Kobe and Swaggy to be effective.

          • nlruizjr

            you do realize that the majority of the time they will not be on the court the same time, therefore 1 basketball is quite enough !!!!!

          • LegendInMyMind

            I’ll take a playmaker like Marshall over a volume scorer when I have other shooters available. I think LA has shown that they need to slow the game down anyway, unless their roster undergoes dramatic, sweeping changes, which I don’t see them doing right now. That would take a lot of the padding from Nick Young’s stats. There are anomalous stats in a D’Antoni offense that you aren’t going to see under other coaches, but that doesn’t give you Ws.

          • nlruizjr

            your right but that playmaker needs Young and more than likely Marshall will be playing more with Young than Kobe, Marshall is not going to be the starter.

          • LegendInMyMind

            Running and gunning like they did last year, perhaps, but there’s going to be a lot of changes this year, both in personnel and in style. Beyond that, I don’t really see Nick Young has having a REAL skill set that he could contribute to a competitive team. He’s got more balls than brains.

          • nlruizjr

            ha, ha, ha, yeah but that could be said about 90% of the NBAers, your too hard on Swaggy, I like his competitiveness and his 18ppg, not that bad for what the Lakers were paying him, I think he fits in coming off the bench, just OK but I welcome your opinion.

          • LegendInMyMind

            On a better roster with a tighter gameplan, I don’t think he’d have much to contribute. That’s pretty much where I’m coming from. I think Jodie Meeks is a better player. He’s smarter, takes better shots, makes better decisions, and is very tough and high energy on defense. He’s a guy who can seriously compete and help a team win. Swaggy just really isn’t that kind of player. He’s a circus.

          • nlruizjr

            well, I guess we agree to disagree.

          • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

            There are plenty dumber than Young–Josh Gordon comes to mind–but I’m with you. The price tag on Pau and Young will matter, but anything under $5 million probably makes Young a trade asset. Pau will have to take a steep discount to come back and get a no-trade clause, but I’ve had this sneaky suspicion for several months that the Lakers are going to target Chris Bosh as his replacement.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

            I hope not, I rather they have Deng, even Noah if possible if Love is not.

          • LegendInMyMind

            Only thing is that Bosh is the best stretch 4 in the game, in all likelihood, not named Kevin Love. And he’s been in some big games and won a couple championships. So if he’s available, I see no reason why they shouldn’t go for it, I just don’t see any scenario where he walks away from Miami.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

            I see your point, but the only reason he is not getting much attention(defense) was to the fact that they are all clogging on Bron, Wade
            , and Allen in Miami. If you look ate his game when he was in Toronto, he can not put the same stats due to the fact that he can easily be guarded 1/1 since he does not have the footwork and vertical lift like the other big man (F). He’s not a good defender, also don’t have the killer instinct like Noah, The Manimal, Lee, Deng, Griffin, etc. With the west stacked with 4, I don’t see him as a $20M dollar man.

          • LegendInMyMind

            I have my doubts as to whether anyone will offer Bosh the $20M that his next 2 seasons would yield if he accepts his player option. I just don’t think that’s his value, honestly. Although he’s one of the better PFs in the game, I just don’t think he’s realistically worth that kind of $$$. I think he’s a good option, though. It’s just a prohibitive salary for someone who’s not going to be effective defensively.

          • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

            He definitely won’t get that money anywhere else, and I’m sure he recognizes that. I think he could still opt out, though, to seek a bigger role somewhere else. He’s also been griping about how he didn’t have any fun this year. I’m not really a Bosh fan, but I just have a feeling he could be in play.

      • Devon Samuels²⁴

        Agreed!

    • wangkon936

      That’s why you’re not the GM.

      • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

        That’s why none of us are the GM.

    • comrade24

      great point!

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