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Kobe: Rondo is “An A**hole Like Me”

Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo exchanged some strange compliments on Friday night.

Jessica Camerato

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Compliments shared between the rivaled Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers aren’t always easy to come by. Less than an hour before Rajon Rondo’s return from a nearly year-long ACL injury, Kobe Bryant offered up one only a true competitor could appreciate.

This season Rondo is the lone remaining player from the Celtics 2008 championship run and 2010 NBA Finals hunt, both against the Lakers. Bryant, who has been through a similar situation with his team, has confidence Rondo will handle the situation just fine.

“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating,” Bryant said. “But from what I understand he’s an a**hole like me, so I think he’ll manage.”

When told of Bryant’s comment following the Lakers 107-104 win over the Celtics, Rondo responded with endearing praise of his own.

“I feel the same way about him,” said Rondo.

The fiercely competitive point guard continued, “But I think that’s what separates guys like Kobe and I. We’re great competitors, whatever it takes to win. I don’t like to lose in anything I do, whether it’s on the court or off the court. I hate to lose. I think that’s the way he approaches life or the game.”

If only they had their own line of Hallmark cards.

Jessica Camerato is a bilingual reporter who has been covering the NBA since 2006. She has also covered MLB, NHL and MLS. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Jessica is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Association for Women in Sports Media.

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Report: Blake Griffin, Nets Agree to Deal

Basketball Insiders

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Free agent forward Blake Griffin has agreed to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season, his agent Sam Goldfeder of @excelbasketball tells ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Multiple Teams Interested in Larry Nance Jr.

Basketball Insiders

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[Larry] Nance would help a lot of teams and he’s on a multi-year bargain deal that makes it easy to come up with matching salaries. He’s the kind of versatile piece that contenders covet because of his defense, playmaking, shooting and impact on winning. According to sources, Nance is the player the Cavs have received the most calls about. Sources say the Minnesota Timberwolves have been aggressively pursuing him since the offseason. Nance’s old teammate and buddy D’Angelo Russell is a strong Nance advocate. Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami and Dallas have also shown interest.

Source: Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com

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Sources: Multiple Teams Interested in Blake Griffin, Expected to Sign with Nets

Basketball Insiders

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The Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Heat and Warriors are among the teams that have expressed interest in Blake Griffin when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, league sources say

The Nets are regarded as a strong contender for Blake Griffin given Brooklyn’s rise and his longstanding relationship with players there and the Celtics have also expressed interest, league sources say.

The Brooklyn Nets are believed to be leaders to sign six-time All-Star Blake Griffin, sources tell me and @JLEdwardsIII. Rival teams with interest are expecting Griffin to choose Nets as a title favorite for chance to win a championship.

Source: Marc Stein and Shams Charania on Twitter

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