It's funny to think about how a simple move could have changed the course of history as we know it. A trade, a phone call, a text message could alter everything around the NBA, especially if that means pairing a couple of superstars in their prime.
That's what the Dallas Mavericks tried to do in 2007 when they were pretty close to trade for Los Angeles Lakers' superstar Kobe Bryant.
According to Mavs owner Mark Cuban, he had already agreed on a deal with Jerry Buss for Kobe Bryant and even Dirk Nowitzki said that they had to pull it off no matter whatever it took:
“I thought we had traded for Kobe. I thought we had a deal for Josh Howard, Jason Terry, and a couple of firsts and I went out to Jerry Buss with the Lakers and we agreed upon it. Dirk called me and said ‘look if you need to trade me for Kobe, I would make that deal in a heartbeat’," Cuban said on JJ Redick's Podcast.
Needless to say, the deal eventually didn't fall through as Jerry West called Kobe Bryant to convince him to shut down the trade:
“It obviously fell apart. Jerry West called Kobe and said you can’t do this and that killed the deal," Mark concluded.
The Dallas Mavericks could have had Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant side by side in their prime, and we already know what Kobe was capable of doing with an elite big man by his side.
Nowitzki wouldn't have hesitated to take a step back to Kobe as the team's primary scorer and if he was able to lead them to an NBA Championship - and two NBA Finals - without having many stars by his side, just picture what he could've done with Kobe next to him.
Cuban also said once that he almost traded for Kobe and Shaq but, as you know by now, that was also a no-go.