This is a great look back at one of the all time great moves in NBA History. The day the mastermind Jerry West traded for the young rook’ Kobe Bryant…

Hoops4theSoul: Jerry West was not only one of the greatest players in NBA history – his likeness appears in the league’s logo for heaven’s sake – he is also one of the shrewdest general managers and talent evaluators that the league has ever seen.

At no time was this more apparent than the summer of 1996 when West acquired two future Hall of Famers in the matter of weeks.

West began his wheeling and dealing with a crafty draft day move in which he sent popular center Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for the draft rights of the 13th selection in the 1996 NBA Draft – a high school phenom named Kobe Bryant out of Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania.

While this trade wouldn’t become official until this day 12 years ago, West hardly hung his hat on just the potential of Bryant but rather created shockwaves in free agency when he lured away center Shaquille O’Neal in his prime from a contending Orlando Magic team.

Just as Divac helped bridged the gap at the five position between Kareem Abdul Jabbar and the Lakers next great center, West’s aggressive acquisition of O’Neal for seven years and $120 million and foresight to trade for Bryant would held bridge the gap between the post-Showtime hangover (in which Magic Johnson retired and came out of retirement several times) and a Chicago Bulls dynasty that was still reigning but clearly in its latter years.

Continue reading ‘On this day, 11 years ago…’

  • LD2k

  • Whatsa

    Good freakin game.

  • deemac1

    Whats funny about this video is at 1:19 they have him pictured in a chicago Bull uniform?! And with the bald head he sort of looks like MJ! An omen that he would take over the torch that MJ leaves maybe…?

  • JC

    Jerry West is a Genious.

  • osm0nd

    i’m not surprised at all that kobe bryant got traded to the lakers on my birthday….

  • lskerfan567

    [Comment ID #44721 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i just wanted to quote this

    how many times was a white guy in a slam dunk contest

  • MILO

    by far the best thing that happened in NBA history, i dont give a fu-ck about anyone else trying to contradict me!!!

  • S-quire

    Very well written.

  • candace parker

    [Comment ID #44767 Will Be Quoted Here]1 brent barry

  • bc18

    [Comment ID #44877 Will Be Quoted Here]

    idk if you guys are just saying who WON the dunk contest but there is also Bob Sura lol he was just in it haha

  • domz

    Chris Andersen

  • lskerfan567

    [Comment ID #44886 Will Be Quoted Here]

    brent barry was in the dunk conest…………..lmao

  • Ok Valero

    Satisfactory blog, some interesting information. I remember 9 of days ago, I have found a similar post. Does anyone know how to track future posts?