If I remember correctly, Kobe had pretty much said that he would only play for LA or Chicago. Kobe was coming out of high school and was drafted in the teens. He had no power to demand anything. Face it; Jerry West is simply smarter than most.
Not true. His agent threatened that Kobe would play in Europe, forcing the Nets to pass on him and the eventual trade to LA.
In case you haven't picked up on Kobe's personality, he is extremely strong willed.