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Michael Cooper

Jerry West reflects on his relationship with Kobe Bryant

Jerry West reflects on his relationship with Kobe Bryant

It started at Inglewood High. Did it ever.

Kobe Bryant arrived for his Lakers pre-draft workout in 1996 and was matched up against Michael Cooper, who had been six years removed from the NBA but might have been a decent test for a 17-year-old with no college experience.

Lakers executives Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak were there, along with a few other team officials.

The workout lasted about 15 minutes. Maybe 20.

That's when West turned to one of the Lakers employees and said, "Let's get out of here."

As in, leave?

"He's better than anyone we have on our team right now. Time to make a trade," West...

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