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Jersey Girl
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did you guys know that the nets were going to draft kobe instead of kittles back in 96? the reason why they didn't is because kobe said he wanted to have nothing to do with new jersey and that if they drafted him, he'd go and play in europe. they had an article on that in my local paper this morning.
 

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Jersey Girl
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not only is that arrogant, but it shows his lack of sportsmanship...he should accept playing for whatever team picks him and do his hardest to improve them.
 

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Originally posted by BizzyRipsta
not only is that arrogant, but it shows his lack of sportsmanship...he should accept playing for whatever team picks him and do his hardest to improve them.
I hope Kenyon Martin takes his head off in the first quarter
 

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That story was discounted by Kobe earlier this season...he says that it wouldn't have any problem playing in Jersey.

The story also pointed out that some in the New Jersey front office wanted Kobe, but others wanted Kittles, not wanting to risk drafting an unproven high school star.

That paper should get it's facts straight. If I find the news article I am referring to, I'll post it here.
 

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NBA PLAYOFFS SPURS VS. LAKERS/ SERIES REPORT; OTHER VIEWS; Kobe Is Big One That Got Away
The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif.; May 14, 2002; SHAUN POWELL;

Abstract:
In hindsight, about a dozen teams blew it big-time six years ago, so this wasn't exclusively a Nets' mistake. Still, they focused on a shooting guard in 1996 and decided on [Kobe Bryant], only to change their mind at the 11th hour. They settled for [Kerry Kittles], whose career is defined by 42% shooting and a salary cap-choking contract, instead of Bryant, whose career is defined by two rings going on three.

Then the agents got involved. David Falk pressed [John Calipari] to take Kittles. Arn Tellem called and told Calipari that Bryant had no interest in the Nets, even though, years later, Bryant said New Jersey would have been fine. But the Lakers were working on a draft- day deal with Charlotte, and playing in L.A. appealed more to Bryant.

The Nets took Kittles. Jerry West snookered the Hornets by swapping Vlade Divac for Bryant. Kittles gives the Nets 20 points on a great night. Bryant gives the Lakers a shot to win it all.

Full Text:
(Copyright, The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times 2002 All rights reserved)

The New Jersey Nets are on the verge of playing for the Eastern Conference championship, and by now, the whole world knows why. They traded for Jason Kidd, the biggest acquisition in franchise history.

But then Kobe Bryant soars above the Alamo in San Antonio for a rebound, gently rolls in the winning basket, and he makes you cringe about the one the Nets let get away.

Bryant demonstrated Sunday how to take over a playoff game down the stretch. He brushed off a lousy shooting day like dandruff and carried the Lakers to victory in the final 90 seconds. His bravura performance invoked the name "Michael Jordan" for many. Myself, I thought about Kerry Kittles.

As in, the guy the Nets drafted over Bryant.

In hindsight, about a dozen teams blew it big-time six years ago, so this wasn't exclusively a Nets' mistake. Still, they focused on a shooting guard in 1996 and decided on Bryant, only to change their mind at the 11th hour. They settled for Kittles, whose career is defined by 42% shooting and a salary cap-choking contract, instead of Bryant, whose career is defined by two rings going on three.

Is there any doubt that Bryant could have resurrected a franchise the way Kidd did this season? That's what John Nash, the Nets' former general manager, thought as he and then-coach John Calipari weighed their options with the eighth overall selection.

"What's funny," Nash said Monday, "was we had dinner with Kobe's family the night before the draft. His father, Joe, thought Kobe would be a starter in his first year and an All-Star in his second. We left dinner thinking Joe was a tad ambitious."

The Nets had Bryant in for three workouts, each more impressive than the other.

The morning of the draft, Nash and Calipari met with owner Joe Taub, who wasn't thrilled about the possibility of getting someone fresh out of high school.

Then the agents got involved. David Falk pressed Calipari to take Kittles. Arn Tellem called and told Calipari that Bryant had no interest in the Nets, even though, years later, Bryant said New Jersey would have been fine. But the Lakers were working on a draft- day deal with Charlotte, and playing in L.A. appealed more to Bryant.

Calipari wavered, according to Nash.

"I told John we should still draft him," Nash said. "But John wasn't sure Kobe would turn out the way he did. You have to remember, at that stage, no one from high school had really done it. Kevin Garnett struggled at first. John was a little overwhelmed by the risk involved."

The Nets took Kittles. Jerry West snookered the Hornets by swapping Vlade Divac for Bryant. Kittles gives the Nets 20 points on a great night. Bryant gives the Lakers a shot to win it all.

''I have to admit," Nash said, "watching Kobe the other day made me think, 'What if?'"

[Illustration]
Caption: PHOTO: Kobe Bryant, now perhaps the NBA's most clutch player, was deemed too risky a draft choice by Nets, who passed in 1996.; PHOTOGRAPHER: GINA FERAZZI/Los Angeles Times


Credit: NEWSDAY
 

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Thanks for that article, Ron. That is what I love about the cold, hard facts - it sends the rumors to bed! :D

For some strange reason, facts are always more comforting to me than rumors or speculation. Maybe that's why I never win when it comes to betting! I just don't do enough of it. :laugh:
 

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Yeah, Rifleman, it cost me $2.50 to dig up that article out of the Los Angeles Times archives, but it was worth it...I just hate seeing Kobe undeservedly slammed...after all, he does enough things to DESERVEDLY get slammed! :laugh:
 
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