When it’s all said and done, Kobe Bryant will be remembered as one of the greatest Lakers in the franchise’s storied history. While the Black Mamba has donned purple and gold for the entire course of his pro career, he did admit to once considering leaving Los Angeles to play for Michael Jordan on the Wizards, according to Michael Lee of The Washington Post and our friends at SLAM.
The period of consideration came during drama in Lakerland and pending free agency in the early 2000s. While this is enough to get basketball fans pondering what could’ve been, it’s perhaps more intriguing for sneakerheads.
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During said time, which was around 2003, Kobe Bryant was also a sneaker free agent, having just left adidas. While he eventually tied the knot with Nike, it was clear that Jordan Brand was making a big push for Jelly Bean Jr., lacing the Laker in a variety of retro releases and team color PEs.Kobe Bryant retro Air Jordan PEs (pic from DependableJay)
Had Kobe gone to Washington would he have gone to Jordan Brand as well? We’ll never quite know, but it certainly seems plausible. For one, Michael Jordan has a storied history of signing his top players to JB, both on the Wizards (Rip Hamilton) and on the Bobcats/Hornets (Stephen Jackson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, many others). Secondly, Kobe Bryant has a decorated resume of rocking Jordans both on-court and off-court.
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The perfect pairing? Perhaps. While it could’ve been interesting to see Kobe get his own Jordan line like Carmelo Anthony, rock retros like Ray Allen or become the face of the signature franchise like Dwyane Wade once was, most would agree that it’s worked out pretty well for Kobe both in LA and on Nike, with countless accolades and sell-out sneakers supporting such.
Let us know if you would’ve liked to see Kobe with the Wizards and/or Jordan Brand in the comment section.
Lead image by photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images via Fox Sports
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