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Kobe Bryant vetoed 2007 trade to Pistons, wanted to be dealt to Bulls

Rebecca Cook / REUTERS

By the time his contract is up after next season, Kobe Bryant will have spent 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, his name now synonymous with the franchise for an entire generation of fans.

But eight years ago it didn't appear that would be the case, with Bryant making a public trade demand that included him saying there was nothing the Lakers could do to change his mind.

"At this point I'll go play on Pluto right now," Bryant said at the time.

Apparently, Pluto is a better destination than Motor City, because Bryant admitted this week on The Grantland Basketball Hour with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose that he vetoed a trade to the Detroit Pistons that year.

"I said, 'I gave you a list of teams that I'm comfortable being traded to. That wasn't one of them, so no."

Bryant also admitted that Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and a bevy of draft picks would have been shipped to L.A. in the proposed deal.

As for where he definitely would have agreed being traded to, it's no surprise from a lifelong Michael Jordan fan.

"Chicago was my No. 1 choice," Bryant said.

Of course, nearly a decade later, Bryant has two more championships, three more Finals appearances and an MVP award to his name with the purple and gold. And he's not about to walk away from the Lakers in the twilight of his career.

"For me to ask for a trade or go play somewhere else to chase a championship, that's not me," Bryant said. "That's not what my career has been about. That's not who I am. I stay with it," Bryant added, noting that his stubbornness about remaining a Laker now hurts him, given the state of the team.

How quickly things change.

Bryant teaming up with Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace would have been something given that the Boston Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen that same summer.

Not to mention, had this deal gone through, the Pistons may never have swapped Billups for Allen Iverson the following year, and the Lakers would have added Pau Gasol to a Bryant-less team, if they acquired Pau at all.

As usual with almost-trades that never materialized, a deal of this magnitude would have altered the course of NBA history.

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