Kobe Bryant was a Los Angeles Lakers icon for a generation, but things could have gone very differently on his draft day in 1996.
The Charlotte Hornets selected Bryant with the 13th overall pick but immediately traded him to the Lakers in exchange for center Vlade Divac.
Bryant, who , would go on to spend his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships.
It was a monumental summer in basketball history, as the Lakers would sign free agent Shaquille O’Neal just a few weeks later.
“Charlotte never wanted me,” Bryant . “[Hornets coach Dave] Cowens told me he didn’t want me. It wasn’t a question of me even playing [in Charlotte]. It wasn’t a question of me even playing [in Charlotte]. They had a couple of guards already, a