Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has long been one of the more outside-the-box thinkers when it comes to running a professional sports franchise.
So Cuban revealing that he once came very close to having a trade completed that would have seen Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal playing in Dallas to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki is certainly believable.
Appearing on Fair Game with Kristine Leahy on Monday, Cuban shared the story beyond the almost-blockbuster deal that would have given the Mavericks perhaps the greatest Big Three in NBA history.
“I thought we had a trade done. I talked to Jerry Buss… this is when I was training for Dancing With The Stars… that’s why I’ll never forget it,” revealed Cuban. “And there was one of the P.A.’s that was just the hugest Lakers fan, used to give me a hard time, and I’m like ‘Dude, we just talked to Jerry Buss’ and we had a trade done, I think it was Josh Howard and Jason Terry and picks, and he was like ‘Okay.’ And then he took one last shot at talking Kobe out of it… didn’t happen.
“Shaq qould get a hold of you all the time,” Cuban added. “‘Come and get me, come and get me, come and get me, why ain’t you got me yet. C’mon, what’s wrong with you? Come and get me’ I mean, every time I saw him. ‘Come and get me.’ And so we almost had him one time when he was with Miami, or maybe Phoenix before Miami, I forget, but we thought we had the team talked into buying him out and him coming to play for the mid-level. But it never happened. We always thought it would work, but it never worked.”
How fun would have been to watch Kobe and Shaq play with Dirk? Can we go back in time and make that happen?
Cuban also talked a little bit about tanking and tampering in the NBA. It too is definitely worth a look.