The lead up to Kobe Bryant’s extravagant jersey retirement on Monday spawned a lot of fantastic conversations from NBA legends and analysts regarding Bryant’s NBA legacy and career. Among them was the revelation by former Lakers coach Del Harris in an article for The New York Times where Harris revealed that the Lakers nearly traded for Tracy McGrady on draft night in 1997. Harris told Marc Stein that Jerry West had become obsessed with McGrady after a few impressive pre-draft workouts, and was willing to dismantle the contending team the Lakers already had if it meant he could get Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tracy McGrady on the same roster. Unfortunately for West and the Lakers, then-owner Jerry Buss that shot the idea down. It’s impossible to know how McGrady would work with Bryant and O’Neal, or how McGrady’s presence would help or hurt the relationship between Byant and O’Neal, but it’s a fantastic NBA “what if” to ponder. With that much talent, it’d be easy to assume that the Lakers would figure things out and be wildly successful. Instead, they had to settle for being wildly successful without McGrady. Oh well.
Tracy McGrady Was Blown Away At The Thought Of The Lakers Acquiring Him In 1997
Uproxx | Dec 21