‘Sh*t Franchise’: Twitter Reacts to Unseen Footage of Kobe Bryant’s Pre-Draft Workout With LA Clippers

Published 10/11/2021, 11:30 AM EDT
Kobe Bryant directs his teammates during a game against the Timberwolves on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at Staples Center. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


The Lakers are probably the biggest franchise out there. In their rich history, the Purple and Gold have had players like Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but perhaps the biggest superstar who called the Staples Center his home was Kobe Bryant.

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Bryant, who came straight out of high school, had his fair share of doubters. Given that he was only 18-years-old and, unlike many others, preferred to skip college, many analysts were skeptical whether Kobe would succeed or not.

While opportunities were rather sparse for a young Bryant, he eventually became a household name and formed an incredible duo with Shaquille O’Neal. After a 20-year-career and five NBA titles later, the Lakers and Kobe have become synonymous.

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When Kobe Bryant worked out with the Clippers before the 1996 draft

The ‘Black Mamba’ might be the most influential Laker ever, but things could have been very different. While many know that Kobe was drafted as the 13th overall pick by Charlotte Hornets, many other teams had the chance to take the 18-year-old.

One of them was cross-town rivals LA Clippers. Ahead of the draft, the Clippers did give Bryant a pre-draft workout session. Knocking down jumpers and dunking the ball effortlessly, ‘Mamba’ had a great workout.

Given how comfortable Kobe looked in the footage, drafting him looked like a no-brainer. But the Clippers had a different plan altogether. Although they were missing a quality shooting guard in their lineup, the Clippers opted to add another center in Lorenzen Wright.

While Wright ended up having a decent NBA career, he never was the franchise cornerstone Clips hoped for rather resorted to being a role player. Given how the addition of Kobe Bryant transformed the Lakers’ it is absolutely crazy to imagine how different the Clippers’ journey would have been.

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Twitter reacts to Kobe’s workout with Clippers

NBA Twitter went absolutely berserk as Kobe’s pre-draft workout footage with Clippers re-surfaced. While many fans were destroying the Clippers for passing up on a generational talent some defended the team’s actions.

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While many might diss the Clippers for missing out on Kobe, drafting players coming out of high school was a huge risk. While they might have potential, they are usually raw and need ideal circumstances to thrive. Do you think Kobe would have thrived with the Clippers?

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Aditya Mohapatra

1239 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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