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Kobe Bryant Recruits Former Bitter Rival Raja Bell to Join the Lakers

Anklesnap July 14, 2010 Dr. Anklesnap 7 Comments

Kobe Bryant Raja Bell Lakers Suns

July 14, 2010 – Dr. Anklesnap

Word on the street is that Kobe Bryant has set up a meeting with his former rival Raja Bell to try and persuade the veteran guard to join the LA Lakers for next season. Even though Derek Fisher has just resigned with the Lakers, Kobe realizes that the Lakers don’t have a lot of veteran depth in the backcourt and Bell would be a very valuable addition come playoff time.

A meeting between Bryant and Bell, two formerly bitter rivals, was reported Tuesday by ESPN.com, which cited an unnamed source close to the situation. Bell is traveling to Los Angeles to attend the ESPYs and will meet with Bryant today.

The Lakers are over the salary cap for next season and have only $1.8 million of the mid-level exception remaining to offer to Bell after signing Steve Blake to a four-season, $16 million contract last week.

If he signs, Bell, 33, would join Bryant, Fisher, Blake and Sasha Vujacic in a backcourt that would be far more experienced than the one that helped the Lakers win the past two NBA titles, a scary prospect for league rivals.

Bell’s signing also would mean Shannon Brown has played his last game with the Lakers. Brown opted out of the final year of his contract before the July 1 deadline and became an unrestricted free agent. {via}

Everyone will remember the heated playoff rivalry between the Suns and Lakers a few years back, specifically the Kobe Bryant/Raja Bell matchup that had everyone talking. Raja Bell is a hard nosed defender and was battling with Kobe not only on the court but off the court verbally in the press. And who can forget the classic Raja Bell clothes line on Kobe Bryant that had everyone talking. Kobe brushes dirt off his shoulder:

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