The Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks had the opportunity during the summer of 2004 to make a change that would have been for posterity, as they are two figures that today are in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Indeed, the newspaper AS revealed that after winning the NBA Finals in 2000, 2001 and 2002, the popular Los Angeles squad experienced the famous locker room crisis led by its two great references, Shaquille O’Neal, the main figure, and the young luminary Kobe Bryant, which led to the management trying two years later to send one of them to the Texan quintet.
In this way, the idea of the then owner of the Lakers, Jerry Buss, father of the current majority shareholder, Jeanie, was to change O’Neal to the Mavericks for the German Dirk Nowitzki, who came from three consecutive invitations to the All-Star Game. .
The problem, from the point of view of those in yellow and purple, was that although the owner of the “Mavs”, Mark Cuban, wanted the dominant center on his team, he was not willing to transfer the Teutonic power forward. , since he saw him as a potential franchise player; which it ended up being.
Finally the Lakers, who opted for Kobe Bryant in the media “war of egos”, did manage to get rid of Shaquille O’Neal in that offseason, sending him to the Miami Heat, where he achieved a fourth championship ring in his career (2005- 2006), while the Mavericks enjoyed all of Nowitzki’s 21 seasons in the best league in the world, including a 2010-2011 season that marked the only crown in franchise history.