"That's true," said Bryant. "A long time ago? Yeah."
Bryant reportedly had an interest in playing for Michael Jordan, who held the role of president of basketball operations before selling his minority ownership stake in the Wizards and returning to the NBA as a player.
When Jordan retired from playing for good, the late Wizards owner Abe Pollin chose not to reinstate him as an owner/executive, which essentially ended any chance the team may have had in luring Bryant.
The draw for the Lakers All-Star guard would have been Jordan.
"I’ve always been very big on having mentors, on having muses and I’ve been really, really big on that," Bryant said. "Being around guys who have done it before and done it at a high level and always tried to pick their brains and always tried to absorb knowledge. Obviously, being in that situation [with the Wizards], it would’ve helped having to be around him every day and so on."
The best chance the team had to steal Bryant was in 2004, but Jordan fell out of favor with Pollin in 2003, according to the Post.
How would the Wizards have fared with Jordan in the front office and Bryant on the floor?
"We would’ve put together a great team and we would’ve won championships," said Bryant. "There are not a lot of players in this league that say, ‘Come hell or high water, we’re going to get this [expletive] done.’ People can look around and joke around about winning, saying they want to win. For me, it’s a matter of life or death. It was that important to me. And if it’s that important to me, I’m going to get there."
Bryant's 19th season with the Lakers is seemingly coming to an end Wednesday, when he undergoes surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff.
The all-star is under contract for one more year with the Lakers, after which he's expected to retire.