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Kobe Bryant recruiting one time nemesis Raja Bell to join Lakers

Jul 13, 2010, 10:19 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for Raja Bell clothesline.jpgYou want to earn Kobe Bryant’s respect? Battle him. Get up for the task and challenge him. Go at him. Compete. Kobe will still win a lot of those battles — because he is Kobe — but he respects the effort.

Raja Bell battled Kobe. In 2006 he taunted Kobe, was physical with him and knocked him down hard. Now Kobe wants him on his side, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell have been talking and texting and are about to meet face-to-face. The reason is Kobe wants Bell to take the remaining $1.8 million the Lakers have from mid-level exception. This is not new, Kobe has been going after Bell since before the free agency period opened.

Bell is a good fit in the triangle — he knocks down threes (over 40 percent the last six years) and he can defend hard. He can play minutes for the Lakers at the one or the two, spelling Kobe and Derek Fisher. Kobe and Fish’s knees will thank him.

Bell made over $5 million last year and is likely looking at money options. The Miami Heat are actively recruiting him, but they can’t offer any more money than the Lakers. It’s a matter of where Bell feels most comfortable. What he wants.

But Bell is going to find that Kobe can be very persuasive.

  1. Saunders - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:49 AM

    Dude….. WHO CARES ABOUT SHAQ’S FEELINGS!!! I’m pretty sure that the Lakers don’t want to spend 1.8 million dollars just to put some water under the bridge. The Lakers have always been about production and Shaq isn’t the same dominant force that he used to be. Honestly….. He should retire this season… Or last season. Or the season before that..

  2. Craig - Jul 14, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    What a stupid, ignorant, and asinine comment. If you don’t care for Raja Bell joining the Lakers, fine. Give your reasons for Raja not being a good fit for the Lakers and be decent about it, okay? This stupid rhetoric you are using helps no one.

  3. Reggie - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    only thing bigger than shaqs shoes is his mouth, he tryed to tell the Doc. Jerry Buss how to operate, then he went to miami and layed down on wade and riley. the hip and knee problems that kept him on miamis bench hasn’t flaired back up sence, didn’t miss a game with the suns after that trade. Shaqs a bum RETIRE!!! and live with the fact kobe has more rings than u, i can see him playing till hes 50 trying to catch kobe.

  4. tomika - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Shaq is very arrogant, now that Kobe has opened his mouth and said that he has one more ring than Shaq you know that’s going to be Shaq’s goal is to BEAT L.A., what did out mother’s teach us when we were children never burn your bridges you just might have to cross them again. Well Shaq burnt the two best teams out there and guess what he now needs to cross them AGAIN!!!! Humm…..

  5. Anonymous - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    lol.. Really? Shaq back with Kobe

  6. JT - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    Ron Artest came to Kobe and told him he wants to play with him back in 2008 when they lost to Celtics (look it up). Kobe wants to have warriors he respects around him; what’s wrong with that? By the way, at least Kobe didn’t jump ship like LeBron did going to D. Wade’s team to win a ring. Kobe stock around until the Lakers put the right supporting cast around him. LeGone approved every one of the Cavalier’s acquisitions, so don’t tell me he didn’t have a good team around him; this was partly his own doing.

  7. JT - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Ron Artest came to Kobe and said HE wants to play with Kobe and the Lakers back in 2008 when they lost to Celtics (look it up). Kobe wants to have warriors he respects around him; what’s wrong with that? By the way, at least Kobe didn’t jump ship like LeBron did going to D. Wade’s team to win a ring. Kobe stock around until the Lakers put the right supporting cast around him. LeGone approved every one of the Cavalier’s acquisitions, so don’t tell me he didn’t have a good team around him; this was partly his own doing. Now LeBron will never get the respect he so badly wants and does not deserve.
    All you haters, enough with the rape comments…is that the best you can come up with?

  8. Anonymous - Jul 14, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    miller? He can not defend….i rather have walton in there….

  9. jonnymac - Jul 14, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Miami vs. – Kobe, Gasol, Artest, Bynum, Odom, Blake, Fisher, Raja, Caracter, and one more mystery dude that Mitch Kupchak has up his sleave?…..wow this is gonna be one heck of a season!….can’t wait!

  10. Roger Verganio - Jul 14, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    There are a lot of teams in the east that can battle the miami heat. down here west i believe only OKC have a real chance to beat the Lakers. Lakers need Raja to defend either lebron or wade. He’s a good % shooter. Happy that they let go farmar, powell, morrison and mabenga.

  11. Pokerbaby - Jul 14, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    The Lakers may want to try and get JJ Reddick. He is still out there. Riddick will hustle and he does has a decent shot

  12. trueFAN - Jul 14, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Kobe knows that Bell will defend and want back down and like we all know defense wins championships just look at last year…miller and reddick would be a liablity on defense and we don’t want that. Lebron quit on his team it’s obvious he is not the winner we thought he was…everyone needs to stop saying the cavs did’t give him the team he wanted and needed. Because he approved everybody and they had the best record in the NBA 2years in a row. He the “best player in the world” quotes by Barkley not me so why couldn’t they win cus he quit. Raja,Kobe,Artest on defense we can’t be stopped. Stop with the rape comments and shaq should retire

  13. BigKev - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Raja Bell isn t coming to the Lakers. He just accepted a 3yr 10 million dollar deal from the Jazz

  14. Will Robinson - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    I have to admit it Raja Bell is a better options than Shannon Brown right now. If Raja never takes a shot you know that this guy is going to be in the face of shooters all night long. What is scary is that Raja can shoot. He’s a pretty accurate three-point shooter and is tenacious on the defensive boards.Yes,he 33 years old and he’s coming off an injury.But,40% from three-point range and his defensive tenacity just can’t be passed by.Shannon Brown on the other hand is a work in progress. He’s a young aggressive penetrator who can be a highlight reel when he wants to, but the Lakers don’t need that right now. Actually, they already have that in Kobe Bryant.The Lakers could use a penetrator, but defense is top priority and accurate three-point shooting.I really think that Shannon is going to be one of the good ones in the years to come.I really hate to see him go. But, sometimes all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, for Shannon Brown the end maybe right now.

  15. Will Robinson - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    I have to admit it Raja Bell is a better options than Shannon Brown right now. If Raja never takes a shot you know that this guy is going to be in the face of shooters all night long. What is scary is that Raja can shoot. He’s a pretty accurate three-point shooter and is tenacious on the defensive boards.Yes,he 33 years old and he’s coming off an injury.But,40% from three-point range and his defensive tenacity just can’t be passed by.Shannon Brown on the other hand is a work in progress. He’s a young aggressive penetrator who can be a highlight reel when he wants to, but the Lakers don’t need that right now. Actually, they already have that in Kobe Bryant.The Lakers could use a penetrator, but defense is top priority and accurate three-point shooting.I really think that Shannon is going to be one of the good ones in the years to come.I really hate to see him go. But, sometimes all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, for Shannon Brown the end maybe right now.

  16. dfgdfg - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:24 AM

    sfsadf asdf asd

  17. kevin - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    kobe sucks just as much as basketball itself. Dumb sport with REALLY dumb overpaid players WoW so entertaining.. Not

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