NBA Star Recalls Being ’Traded’ for a Copy Machine During Inspirational Commencement Speech
"A couple of years ago, that copy machine broke, and I'm still playing," Utah Jazz player Kyle Korver said
If you ask him, Utah Jazz player Kyle Korver isn’t mad he was once “traded” for a photocopier. That’s because he far outlasted the machine that replaced him.
While giving a commencement speech at his alma mater, Creighton University, Korver recalled being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2003 by the then-New Jersey Nets, on the same day that the franchise drafted him. But the Nets didn’t swap the rookie for another player — no, instead they shipped Korver out for cash considerations.
“The 51st pick, to the New Jersey Nets,” Korver told the audience at Creighton on Saturday, according to USA Today. “I found out shortly afterward that I had been traded to Philly. I’m not sure if traded is the right word.”
Korver would later discover that with the money the Nets received in return, the team paid for a summer league entrance fee and a photocopier.
“I was more or less sold for an undisclosed amount of money,” he said. “I later found out (the Nets) used that money to pay for the entry fee for their summer league team, and with the leftover money, they bought a copy machine.”
“But it’s OK,” Korver added. “Because a couple of years ago, that copy machine broke. And I’m still playing.”
Korver, 38, won out on the deal in the end, and is still playing at a high level in the league some 16 years after he was traded.
In an ESPN piece on Korver, then-Nets general manager Rod Thorn explained his reasons behind trading Korver for the cash considerations.
“We gave away a good player for summer league,” Thorn said. “It was just one of those things we had to do. At least, that’s how I rationalized it.”
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At the time, numerous general managers admitted to ESPN that they regretted not drafting Korver when they had the chance in 2003.
Before joining the Jazz, Korver reached consecutive NBA Finals while a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James, and made the NBA All-Star team in 2015.
From being traded on his very first day in the league to playing a valuable part on multiple NBA teams, Korver’s trajectory can serve an inspirational story for any new graduate as they venture out into their own career.