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Kobe Bryant wanted to join Michael Jordan's Wizards in 2004

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wanted to sign with Michael Jordan's Washington Wizards when he was a free agent in 2004. Bryant, who is expected to miss the rest of this season with a torn rotator cuff, said his poor relationship with superstar teammate Shaquille O'Neal led him to think about leaving Los Angeles.
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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wanted to sign with Michael Jordan's Washington Wizards when he was a free agent in 2004, reports Michael Lee of The Washington Post.

Bryant, who is expected to miss the rest of this season with a torn rotator cuff, said his poor relationship with superstar teammate Shaquille O'Neal led him to think about leaving Los Angeles. While Bryant and O'Neal led the Lakers to three titles in a row to start the millennium, they had an infamously hot-and-cold relationship on and off the floor.

“The challenge had been thrown down upon me, of not being able to win without Shaq. A public challenge never really bothered me too much, but he made a couple of comments as well. I think he called me Penny Hardaway Part 2 or something like that. So that’s what [ticked] me off,” Bryant said. “Then it was like, ‘Listen, you know the step back that I took to help us win championships. Let’s not get [expletive] confused. I can dominate on my own. I decided to stay here and win championships and sacrifice MVPs and scoring titles and all that stuff.’ So once that was said, it was like a line in the sand now.”

• MAHONEY: Kobe's future in doubt after torn rotator cuff

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