The Los Angeles Lakers reached out to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2007 about a trade of Kobe Bryant for LeBron James.
Bryant was 28 years old and at the peak of his prime but he was frustrated with the state of the Lakers and seeking a trade. Bryant was under contract for two more seasons.
"At that time, the Lakers had to do something. I was just losing faith in what they were trying to do. It was like I was a meal ticket," Bryant told ESPN's Baxter Holmes this week. "You come out and score 40, 50 points, fill the seats, we're going to keep the payroll at a minimum, generate revenue. It's like, look, listen, I am not with that, dude. I have to win without Shaq. I've got to do it. We've got to do something."
James was just 22 and coming off a trip to The Finals and signed for three more seasons.
The Cavaliers' front office remembers it as the only trade call with an offer for James.
Cleveland attempted to make the Lakers a different offer for Bryant that excluded James.
"I never would've approved it. Never. The trade to go to Cleveland? Never," Bryant told Holmes. "That wasn't one of the teams that was on my list. It was Chicago, San Antonio (or) Phoenix."
The Lakers were unable to get a deal done with the Bulls because Bryant didn't approve of Luol Deng being included. A deal with the Detroit Pistons was also agreed upon for Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton, but Bryant didn't have the Pistons on his list.