John Calipari was talked out of drafting Kobe Bryant by Jerry West

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From the newly released ESPN Jerry West book by Roland Lazenby...

First West had to take the huge gamble of trading veteran center Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for their thirteenth pick in the draft. Then he learned that John Calipari, the coach of the New Jersey Nets, planned to take [Kobe] Bryant with the eighth pick before the Lakers could snare him at thirteen.

“Jerry wanted Kobe, so he basically called up and talked Cal out of drafting Kobe,
 

big j 33

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Well that worked out well for the Lakers

I couldn't imagine Kobe playing in New Jersey
 

jpzx

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at being able to be "talked out of" something like that. This isn't like trying the remote to your older brother...this is your career.


The fact that Jerry West wanted him so bad to the point where he'd call up coaches, pleading them to not take Kobe should be a sign of what they saw in the kid...
 
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I mean, Calipari is doing well now so i'm sure he's not losing sleep over it anymore...

But damn, faulty/smart move by West...
 

jpzx

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Originally Posted by BangDak

Sounds a bit shady.



I woulda drafted Kobe, and asked for the world in return
Charlotte's "world" then?



 

jpzx

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Originally Posted by eeibaby

It boggles my mind that no one saw what Jerry West saw in Kobe
I think it more had to do with the fact that high schoolers declaring for the draft w/o and college experience wasn't a norm back then. Kevin Garnett really opened the door for the concept in '95 and it was highly controversial. There were a few people that did it before 95, but it was extremely rare.

Everybody knew Kobe was extremely talented, but it was just the unknown that came with high schoolers. Nobody knew whether they were physically or emotionally ready to handle the NBA and all that came with it.
 
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but Kobe was no LBJ though, he worked his butt off to become the player that he is now. JW saw his potential, nothing more.

Lakers developed his game very well.
 
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dude is very shady...not to mention the crap he did with gasol for kwame brown...

knowing damn well he was just helping out the lakers.
 
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But he got Marc Gasol in return, its not like he straight up traded Gasol for a bag of crap
 
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I think it more had to do with the fact that high schoolers declaring for the draft w/o and college experience wasn't a norm back then. Kevin Garnett really opened the door for the concept in '95 and it was highly controversial. There were a few people that did it before 95, but it was extremely rare
True! add to that his Family,West and agent pretty much told everbody not to draft him because he
wanted to play for the Lakers and teams really did not want to deal with all that controversy
if he never made it clear he wanted to play for the Lakers he would have been drafted
anywhere from 7-12
 
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Coach Cal' would still be coaching in the NBA & have a dynasty as of right now if he just hung up the phone and said "no Mr. West" 
 
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