According to Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Bryant was headed for the Detroit Pistons before a conversation with late owner Dr. Jerry Buss changed his perspective on the matter.
"It hit me that I didn't really want to walk out on Dr. Buss," Bryant said on Monday.
The trade in question would have included some combination of Detroit's cornerstone players and draft picks going to L.A. in exchange for Bryant.
Following Bryant's leap of faith, general manager Mitch Kupchak made the historic swap for All-Star Pau Gasol, and the Lakers were immediate contenders once again.
They won titles in 2009 and 2010, solidifying the Lakers as one of the NBA's all-time greatest franchises. Bryant was especially grateful for the time Buss spent with him back in 2007 and over the course of his 17-year NBA career.