Is Kobe Bryant’s 2007 Trade Demand the Same As LeBron James’ Decision?

In 2007, after a frustrating loss in the first round of the playoffs, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant demanded that Lakers' management trade him to a team who was willing to surround him with players capable of competing for championships.

Bryant was visibly frustrated when he made his remarks, although he would later back off his comments when center Andrew Bynum began to show progress in his development. Bynum was injured near the midpoint of the 2007-2008 season, and to preserve what had been a surprising start to the season, Lakers' general manager Mitch Kupchak orchestrated a trade that brought Pau Gasol into the Lakers' fold.

It's important to understand that this was a move made necessary because of Bynum's injury, and God must have smiled on the franchise for the timing and availability of Gasol.

Most people around the league felt Gasol was handed to the Lakers, and during that time, they were right. In hindsight, though, the Memphis Grizzlies received Gasol's little brother Marc in the deal, and he could be a franchise center in his own right.

The Lakers have been to the NBA Finals every season since the Gasol trade, and as it turns out, he's been the perfect complement for the disgruntled Bryant.

Various persons have pointed to Bryant's trade demands of 2007 when defending LeBron James' recent free agency decision which landed him in Miami, but in truth, the two situations have very few similarities.

It has been recently revealed that James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh had numerous conversations about potentially joining forces as far back as two years ago while the Lakers' trade for Gasol was made out of pure desperation. There was no premeditation on the part of Kupchak. He was simply trying to save a season which saw the Lakers sitting unexpectedly in first place in the West at the time of Bynum's injury.

Numerous things had to happen for the Gasol trade to wo...

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