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Failed Gut Checks

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They're two oft-told tales from the Nets' history: how John Calipari was scared off drafting Kobe Bryant in 1996 and how Phil Jackson thought long and hard about coaching Stephon Marbury and Keith Van Horn, but opted instead for Shaq and Kobe. Ian O'Connor recites both stories Thursday in previewing the NBA Finals...and notes how close both men came to joining the Nets.