Lakers Consider Raja Bell
Kobe Bryant(notes) has become a strong advocate for Bell, a former nemesis. After missing most of the season with surgery to repair ligaments in his non-shooting wrist, Bell is still expected to be a coveted bench player among contending teams. He could give the Lakers another strong perimeter defender and a solid outside shooting threat.
Bell famously dropped Bryant with a clothesline foul in the 2006 playoffs, but the two developed a mutual respect and bond. Bell was ejected and suspended a game for the foul, and complained about Bryant’s tactics in the postgame news conference.
“It’s a personal thing when someone continually hits you in the face,” Bell said at the time. “That’s the only way I can put it. I’ve been playing as hard as I can play. I’ve been trying to do a good job, I’ve been trying to be what my team needs me to be, and I continually get hit in my face. There doesn’t seem to be any boundaries or limitations for what he’s allowed to do to me, and at that point, I kind of lost my cool and I took it into my own hands.”