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ESPN: Kobe Bryant has been keeping in touch with Lakers teammate Ronny Turiaf over the summer through text messages, one of which might have played a small part in inspiring Bryant’s tenacious man-to-man defense at the recently completed Tournament of the Americas.

“I was giving him a hard time about stopping Leandro [Barbosa of Brazil], and he did it,” said Turiaf, who is playing here for France. “He’s playing with a chip on his shoulder as far as stopping the best player on the other team, playing his best basketball, and I’m hoping he can carry that on for us this year.”

Turiaf’s use of the word “us” prompted the question of whether he thinks Bryant will still be with the Lakers once the season begins — not exactly a certainty given the trade request Bryant put in with the Lakers earlier this summer.

“That’s really none of my business,” Turiaf said. “That’s between him and management. As far as I know, I’m hoping and wishing he’s going to be with us because I have a special relationship with him — he’s like a big brother, and he brings so much to the table on offense and defense.

“So I don’t know. Training camp starts in like three weeks, and he hasn’t been traded yet, so maybe that’s a sign he’s going to be there.”

  • MILO

    Turiaf is a great player! even if he tend’s to get into foul trouble, he’s the guy to bring in when the team is lacking energy.I like the way he handeled the Kobe question it was the right thing to say and he handeled it like a true profesional…

  • LFTW

    Build around Turiaf and trade Bynum

  • Faith

    [quote comment=”13340″]Build around Turiaf and trade Bynum[/quote]

    haha.

    It’s very simple, sorround Kobe with guys like Turiaf, and we’re in business. There would be no question of him asking out then.

  • JordanT

    Turiaf never had heart problems =P He has one of the best hearts on his team.

  • LAL4LIFE

    [quote comment=”13342″]Turiaf never had heart problems =P He has one of the best hearts on his team.[/quote]

    awwwww :D

  • LA All The Way

    What happens whit the contest ‘Build for the Future’ results?

    When the winner is going to be annouced?

    Peace…

  • MILO

    LA All The Way, these people are lame! i’ve been asking who won the GM challenge and never got an answer, so good luck!

  • fatty

    Camby revisted.

    Detroit has been trying to ply away Camby from Denver. Denver wants a big man and point guard. But desperately wants cap relief. Denver salary at 78,000,000. Ouch!

    Kwame is the answer. Throw in Farmar and his expiring and Denver has exactly what they need. Remember, they want Lux tax relief. They will not get equal value for Camby with that need.

    Why this is good for the Lakers?
    A better Defensive mind set, and a big man that can shoot the 16-18 footer. We would also have to take in a filler to salary match, or throw in cash.

    Why is this good for Nuggets?
    They get the point guard they want on the cheap, plus a serviceable big man with the expiring contract they want. Sure Kwame can’t catch, but when does Melo or AI ever pass the ball anyway?
    After this year, Denver would drop out of lux tax territory which is there stated goal. It wont happen unless they trade Camby. This is why a team might trade away a better player for Kwame. They are in serious financial trouble. Look at what the Suns did. They literally gave away Thomas, a player they needed badly to compete against a Spurs team and have yet to replace him. And why, because of lux tax penalties.

    So do we have a shot at Camby? Sure we do. Not because it is a equal player trade, but on financial issues. We have what they need, with a Farmar bonus thrown in.

    On a side note. What in the heck did Denver sign Chucky for $3.2? No wonder they have cap issues. A trade of Sasha, Farmar and Kwame would have solved there problems and saved them money.

    I only wrote this because the news services are still talking a Camby trade, not because of any Laker rumors. So let’s not get too excited here.

  • BEC

    [quote comment=”13353″]Camby revisted.

    Detroit has been trying to ply away Camby from Denver. Denver wants a big man and point guard. But desperately wants cap relief. Denver salary at 78,000,000. Ouch!

    Kwame is the answer. Throw in Farmar and his expiring and Denver has exactly what they need. Remember, they want Lux tax relief. They will not get equal value for Camby with that need.

    Why this is good for the Lakers?
    A better Defensive mind set, and a big man that can shoot the 16-18 footer. We would also have to take in a filler to salary match, or throw in cash.

    Why is this good for Nuggets?
    They get the point guard they want on the cheap, plus a serviceable big man with the expiring contract they want. Sure Kwame can’t catch, but when does Melo or AI ever pass the ball anyway?
    After this year, Denver would drop out of lux tax territory which is there stated goal. It wont happen unless they trade Camby. This is why a team might trade away a better player for Kwame. They are in serious financial trouble. Look at what the Suns did. They literally gave away Thomas, a player they needed badly to compete against a Spurs team and have yet to replace him. And why, because of lux tax penalties.

    So do we have a shot at Camby? Sure we do. Not because it is a equal player trade, but on financial issues. We have what they need, with a Farmar bonus thrown in.

    On a side note. What in the heck did Denver sign Chucky for $3.2? No wonder they have cap issues. A trade of Sasha, Farmar and Kwame would have solved there problems and saved them money.

    I only wrote this because the news services are still talking a Camby trade, not because of any Laker rumors. So let’s not get too excited here.[/quote]

    Theres no way Denver trades Camby, a 11pts 11reb and 3 blks a night guy, for cap space and Farmar. Especially with a core of Melo, AI, and Camby, Denvers really close to becoming an elite team/contenders, those guys are almost untouchable the way I see it. Im sure Denver would love to unload Kenyon Martin or Nene Hilario for Kwame and Farmar though, but not for Camby, the only real defensive presence on that team.

  • Faith

    I thought they LAUGHED at a Kwame-Camby trade.

    When they can’t sign anyone, and are not winning, they’ll wish they didn’t laugh lol.

  • D. Imhoff

    I think Camby would be a great addition to the Lakers. I have trouble believing that Denver would let him go. I can hear Carmelo and AI screaming Nooooooooooo! Camby is the type of player that PJ has been referring to when he was talking about how the Bulls rebuilt when MJ returned. That is the time the Bulls aquired Rodman. I say get Camby even if we have to include more than Kwame and Farmar, such as Mo Evans or a draft pick.

  • fatty

    Bec,

    “There’s no way”

    Its more than cap space relief. Unlike Theo Ratliff going to Minnie for pure cap, who will probally never play. Kwame is at least serviceable, in fact plays excellant defense. It gives Denver time to search for other solutions while solving lux tax issues.

    If I were Denver, I would find a way to keep Camby. But the reality that Denver is projecting, is they need to sacrifice someone for a serious cap problem.

    Martin is untradable because of his knee. They tried. Nene is a possibility, but who wants Nene?

    “laughable”
    Of course they laughed, so do we when we think of someone taking Kwame. lol But…..Denver is desperate to get cap relief. Its they that are shopping Camby. Its other teams that are realizing Denvers plight that are making offers. AI and Melo can do the math, they know a salary adjustment has to be made.

    “To avoid the Tax, they must not lax”
    Denver has three possibilties:
    1. Trade Camby (will get you the most value)
    2. Trade Nene (little value, but promising future for Denver?)
    3. Trade Martin (untradable, because of knee, and attitude and huge contract) I know Knicks are salivating on Martin. Another huge useless contract, Thomas can’t wait to take, but he has his limits.

    Again, if I were Denver, and this team could win the title. I would pay the tax the next two years and go for broke. But remember, they are the one shopping Camby for cap relief. They are trying to strike a balance, to be competive and have finacial relief, not unlike Phx is trying to do. Thomas, an important piece in there team was traded for a second round pick. They didn’t get near value for him, in fact have gone down considerably as a defensive unit. But, they had no choice and got imediate cap relief. Denver can at least get help now and relief.