RudeBlog
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In the hotel room and my two friends are sleeping, so thought I'd do round 2 of this series

 

Now, this is a bittersweet topic for me. Kobe has admitted after playing under Coach K in the 2008 Redeem Team that he would have went to Duke had he went to college. He also admitted he was quite close to doing so.

 

 

So this got me to thinking. What would have happened if Kobe went to college for a couple years at Duke.

 

His first year at Duke would have been the 1996-97 season. That season featured a Duke roster of a young Trajon Langdon, Roshown McLeod, Jeff Capel, and Steve Wojo. The team would have most assuredly been guard heavy and Kobe would have likely slid to the SF position. The original team made the 2nd round of the tournament, but I can guarantee Kobe could have pulled off a Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony and led this team much farther. A title would have been unlikely, but let's assume Kobe comes back another year

 

For the 97-98 season, this is where things would have gotten really interesting as the Blue Devils added Elton Brand, William Avery, and Shane Battier. With more front court help, they very well could have competed for a national title with Wojo at point, Trajan at the 2 spot, Kobe at SF, Battier at PF, and Brand down low. The team lost in the Elite Eight by 2, so saying a Final Four wouldn't be out of reach by any stretch of the imagination

 

If Kobe had come back for the 98-99 season, they definitely would have won a title. The team made it to the title game and lost a close game to UConn. In his 3rd year in the NBA, Kobe really broke out, scoring around 20 points a game. His killer mentality would have led the Dukies to this title for sure.

 

So with possibly 2 titles under his belt, Kobe would have left after the 1999 season. The 1999 NBA Draft would have been ultra intriguing. Brand, Avery, Maggette had left Duke that year. Add Kobe to that list and Langdon, who graduated, and that's 5 Dukies in the first round.

 

But it's where Kobe would have landed that is even more intriguing. He would have been the #1 pick, and guess who was sitting there with that pick.....

 

The Chicago Bulls

 

 

There's no doubt that, looking for an heir apparent to MJ, the Bulls would have grabbed up Kobe. And guess who else the Bulls picked that year: Ron Artest. What a young tandem to build around. The group leads the Bulls to a couple more wins than the 17 they managed, finishing with about 27 wins or so. Still they land a mid-lottery pick and grab Joel Przybilla.

 

With a capable center, the Bulls get about 35 wins the next year, landing late in the lottery for 2001, where the Lakers package Kukoc and the 10th pick and send them to the Hawks for Pau Gasol.

 

That's right, the Bulls would look a little bit like the Lakers with Artest, Bryant, and Pau as a core.

 

As for the Lakers, without trading for Kobe in 1996, they keep Divac and suffer another subpar year. However, in the 1997 draft, the Lakers pull off a similar trade, sending Divac to the Raptors for another high schooler....Tracy McGrady. The Lakers eventually taste some of the success they did, winning a title in 2001. However, the 2000 Blazers and 2002 Kings both get rings, giving the likes of Chris Webber and Scottie Pippen a ring.

 

But Kobe skipped college, brought Duke fans hearts, but became one of the greatest NBA players of all-time. He certainly wouldn't be that with college, but it's fun to dream, right?
August 15, 2010  04:57 PM ET

Too many "what if?" scenarios.

No one knows when he would have left Duke, I think he probably would have spent two years or the full four, but not three.

Never less, good blog.

August 15, 2010  04:58 PM ET

I don't know that the Lakers would have done a trade for T-Mac either.

August 15, 2010  05:00 PM ET

This was written at 4:48 PM, but both your friends are asleep. Even if this is out west along the coast, it is only 1:48 PM.

August 15, 2010  05:01 PM ET

What if the Bulls liked Brand and took him. The Grizzles could have got Kobe. Then the Francis problem wouldn't happen, and the Grizzles could have been successful.

August 15, 2010  05:21 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Too many "what if?" scenarios.No one knows when he would have left Duke, I think he probably would have spent two years or the full four, but not three.Never less, good blog.

2 titles would be more than enough for him. especially if brand, maggette, and avery left like they did originally. or maybe kobe stays to play his natural SG position with langdon gone.

August 15, 2010  05:21 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I don't know that the Lakers would have done a trade for T-Mac either.

they did the same thing (essentially) 1 year prior

August 15, 2010  05:21 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

This was written at 4:48 PM, but both your friends are asleep. Even if this is out west along the coast, it is only 1:48 PM.

napping after spending morning at beach

August 15, 2010  05:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

What if the Bulls liked Brand and took him. The Grizzles could have got Kobe. Then the Francis problem wouldn't happen, and the Grizzles could have been successful.

but the bulls would have surely been persuaded enough by fans/media to take the "next MJ"

August 15, 2010  08:33 PM ET

That is an interesting scenario. Their is no way of telling that the Bulls would have had the #1 pick either, all sorts of things could have happened.

I believe that Kobe would have 1 ring at the most right now if he would have waited.

August 16, 2010  10:37 AM ET

kewl way to use the imagination....looking forward to the next blog

August 16, 2010  10:14 PM ET

If Kobe went to college, I wouldn't let my actual sisters or my theoretical daughter(s) attend that school.

August 16, 2010  11:16 PM ET

Awesome series Rude.

What if Steve Bartman didn't touch that ball?

August 16, 2010  11:53 PM ET

Good blog Rude.

August 17, 2010  02:49 AM ET

Nice, Rude....

August 17, 2010  08:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Awesome series Rude.What if Steve Bartman didn't touch that ball?

The next pitch is an infield fly.

August 17, 2010  11:33 AM ET

There is a Chick in Colorado that wouldn't have been raped...you left that out.

just sayin'

August 17, 2010  01:49 PM ET
QUOTE:

your next should be: What if... bill buckner didn't miss that ground ball.Orwhat if... brett favre had actually retired the first time (with GB)

What if RSP didn't ask out Emily and turned gay?

August 17, 2010  01:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

The next pitch is an infield fly.

I know.

August 17, 2010  03:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

If Kobe went to college, I wouldn't let my actual sisters or my theoretical daughter(s) attend that school.

No one else would have either

 
August 20, 2010  01:19 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

but the bulls would have surely been persuaded enough by fans/media to take the "next MJ"

Kobe was not thought of that highly when he came into the league. Please don't pretend he was. Lucky for him, the list of supposed "next MJ's" is disappointing. Just ask Harold Miner

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