• Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan almost got drafted by the same team during their rookie seasons
  • Sixers once considered trading Julius Erving for Michael Jordan
  • A former Sixers scout originally wanted to pair Bryant with Allen Iverson

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were both close to being signed by the same NBA team during their rookie seasons.

In the history of NBA, Bryant and Jordan are remembered for having almost the same style of playing. Fortunately, Bryant was able to emulate Jordan’s game when clearly no other player can ever do. But aside from the on-court resemblance, Jordan and Bryant also almost played for the same team during their rookie season.

Apparently, the Philadelphia 76ers came close to signing Jordan in 1984 NBA Draft and also Bryant during the 1996 NBA Draft.

In an interview for a forthcoming book, Harold Katz, the former Sixers owner, claimed that he offered former Sixers superstar Julius “Dr. J” Erving, the Hall of Fame forward, to Chicago Bulls on the eve of the 1984 draft for the third overall pick. At the time, Katz thought he had a deal with Chicago, but everything collapsed when the Bulls used the third pick to select Jordan, Chicago Tribune reported.

Both Iverson and Bryant became the superstars of their respective teams. However, things could’ve been completely different if the Sixers were able to pull off another tremendous deal.

Author Jonathan Abrams revealed in his book, " Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution," that the Sixers were very close to pick Bryant in the 1996 NBA draft.

According to Abrams, a then Sixers scout originally wanted to pair Bryant with Iverson. The idea turned out to be great but as the draft day approaches, a deal that supposed to send Bryant to Philly in exchange for Jerry Stackhouse fell apart.

“In 1996 Sixers scout Tony DiLeo wanted to draft high schooler Kobe Bryant and discussed trading a young Jerry Stackhouse to pair Iverson and Bryant together,” Abrams wrote.