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Jerry West Talks About How He Fleeced the Hornets for Kobe Bryant in 1996

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (L) speaks
Dan Patrick: “Did you ever feel sorry for Charlotte?”
Jerry West: “We all have favorite players in the Draft and I felt like Kobe was an easy selection. I thought he was the best player in the Draft. Back then it was much easier to make deals because you didn’t have agents involved, you didn’t have players telling you where they wanted to go, and people were pretty loyal.”

Listen to NBA legend Jerry West join The Dan Patrick Show to talk about his experience as Los Angeles Lakers general manager as the 14-time All-Star was responsible for building the ‘Showtime Lakers’ dynasty in the 1980’s and then forming the Shaq/Kobe Lakers in the early 2000’s that won three-straight championships from 2000 to 2002.

Perhaps West’s most iconic contribution was his role in one of the most infamous trades in NBA history, as the team acquired Kobe Bryant in a deal with the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 in a swap for Vlade Divac.

Charlotte had drafted Bryant with the no. 13 pick but were looking for size after losing Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson in consecutive offseasons.

Check out the video below as West explains to Dan Patrick how different the NBA landscape has made the GM job of today compared to 25 years ago.