Kobe Bryant played with some truly legendary teammates during his career, but he may have once hinted he’d like to have played with Tracy McGrady.
Back when the Lakers were still basking in glory of signing LeBron James during the 2018 offseason, there were always talks of pairing him with another superstar to truly maximize Los Angeles’ championship chances.
The first season went by without much fanfare as the Lakers couldn’t find another star and missed the playoffs due to injuries.
Interestingly enough, at the same time, Anthony Davis was expressing his desires to leave the New Orleans Pelicans. Rumors started to fly that Davis wanted to pair up with ‘The King’ in Los Angeles. Fast forward to today, and not only do the Lakers have Davis and LeBron, they also have Russell Westbrook.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have two MVPs and 34 All-Star appearances between the trio 😍 https://t.co/89zmisZzeB
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 31, 2021
So, what did Kobe and T-Mac think at the time of Davis’ decision to go to the Lakers and the high levels of autonomy and freedom that star athletes have these days?
Kobe Bryant And Tracy McGrady Hint At A Potential Teammup In Interview With Rachel Nichols
Kobe Bryant and T-Mac often crossed paths during their NBA careers, with ‘The Black Mamba’ even saying that McGrady was the toughest player he’d defended.
— BigBangg🏄🏽♂️💰 (@big_lilad12) January 1, 2021
However, was there a potential thought of a teamup between the two? Kobe did mention how Davis’ decision to want out of New Orleans was perfectly justified.
In Kobe’s explanation, he talks about how NBA teams have full freedom to trade players whenever they want, so NBA players should also have the choice to go to whatever team they want, free of judgement.
T-Mac chimed in as he had experience with leaving NBA teams during his career. The first time was when he left Orlando. He knew he wasn’t going to win a ring there, and at some point, he knew he had to leave.
Kobe Bryant was also feuding with Shaquille O’Neal around this time as at the end of the 2003-04 season, it became clear that one of the two superstars needed to leave the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s exactly when McGrady left the Magic for the Houston Rockets.
So, was there a chance? It’s pretty far fetched, but you never know. At that time, the NBA was completely different than it is right now. Player autonomy wasn’t as great, and so having the kind of teammups you see now (KD, Harden, Kyrie, and LeBron, AD, Russ) were very hard to imagine.
Kobe and T-Mac pairing up would have been incredible to see. They’re two of the greatest offensive players in NBA history and having them together would have been exciting to watch every single day.
You can watch the full interview here: