Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant has been on his farewell tour for the entire 2015-2016 season, and with just four games left this season, a story about how Bryant almost became a Detroit Piston is coming out.</p>
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According to CBS Sports, Bryant "had given his condition OK to be dealt to Detroit before rejecting it at the 11th hour."
The article said Bryant was frustrated with back-to-back first-round exits in the playoffs in 2007 and he was demanding a trade.
In the 2007 preseason, Mitch Kupchak, who was the Lakers' general manager at the time, and Joe Dumars, had been quietly discussing a blockbuster deal for Bryant.
That deal, according to CBS Sports, would send Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and two first-round picks to Los Angeles for Bryant.
"According to one account from a person briefed on the timeline, Dumars was at a preseason game against the Mavericks when he got a call from Kupchak, who spoke the following words: 'We're good to go,'" the article reads.
A source told CBS Sports, "The deal was done," and that they were just waiting to set up a call with the NBA office.
One of the people involved in the negotiations told CBS Sports that Kobe even signed off on the deal.
According to CBS, the Pistons knew the deal was dead when Bryant and Dr. Jerry Buss wanted to meet in person because of the relationship they had.
Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2016 but was re-published after Bryant's 2020 death.