The Lakers need to put better pieces around Kobe Bryant in order for them to compete for another title.
Shooting guard Kobe Bryant and the Lakers look to improve a bench that was last in the league in scoring last season. Reuters

Kobe Bryant is one of the most beloved Lakers in the history of the franchise.

However, the future Hall of Famer was dangerously close to being traded a few years ago.

In a recent interview, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban admits that he nearly acquired Bryant during the 2007 offseason.

"When I was doing Dancing with the Stars, I was taking breaks because I was talking to Kobe's agent because Kobe wanted to get traded," Cuban told the Ben and Skin Show on ESPN Radio in Dallas. "Literally, between Dancing with the Stars practices I had thought we traded for Kobe Bryant. I even talked to their owner and thought we were going to have done deal, and [Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak changed [Kobe's] mind and brought him back."

After L.A. traded Shaquille O'Neal in 2004, they struggled to have postseason success. Los Angeles missed the playoffs in the 2004-05 season, and was knocked out in the first round the next two years.

Bryant didn't have much help around him, and was forced to take career highs in shots. The guard had enough after three disappointing years, and wanted out of Los Angeles.

L.A. held onto their star, despite his wish to be dealt. The Lakers traded for Pau Gasol soon afterwards, and Bryant backed off of his demands. They went to three straight NBA Finals, winning two of them.

Cuban didn't reveal who Dallas would have moved in the deal, but he said Dirk Nowitzki wasn't involved in the potential trade.

Bryant has spent his whole career in L.A. He was traded from the Hornets to the Lakers on draft day in 1996.