Kobe Bryant Thanks Hornets on Twitter for Trading Him After 1996 Draft

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

NEW YORK - 1996:  First Round NBA draft pick Kobe Bryant poses for a photo.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1996 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Eighteen years ago today, the Charlotte Hornets made a trade that they'd like to have back.

Kobe Bryant hasn't forgotten that trade.

Charlotte took Bryant out of high school with the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA draft. Less than a week later, the Hornets traded the Black Mamba to the Los Angeles Lakers:

INGLEWOOD, CA - JULY 11:  Kobe Bryant holds a #8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey after being the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets who then traded his draft rights to the Los Angels Lakers on July 11, 1996 in Inglewood, California
Juan Ocampo/Getty Images

The reasoning behind the trade, according to Bryant, is pretty shocking:

"No use" for Bryant? That doesn't look good now.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

All he has done since the trade is put together a Hall of Fame resume. Bryant has won an NBA Most Valuable Player award and five NBA championships, which includes two NBA Finals MVP awards. He has also been named to the All-Star team 16 times. Oh, he's also fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Bryant has accomplished all of that while wearing a Lakers uniform. 

Who knows how Bryant's career would have played out had Charlotte not traded him, but the Black Mamba and the Lakers are pretty pleased with how the last 18 years have played out.

[Kobe Bryant, h/t That NBA Lottery Pick]