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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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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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Sources: Blake Griffin, Pistons Agree to Buyout

Basketball Insiders

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Six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin has agreed to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons and will become an unrestricted free agent, the team announced Friday.

The Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are expected to be among the teams Griffin will be considering for his next stop, sources tell ESPN.

Griffin, 31, is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams, sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Spurs ‘listening to inquiries’ on LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Trey Lyles, Patty Mills

Basketball Insiders

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The [San Antonio] Spurs are receiving calls on their veteran players who are pending free agents — LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Trey Lyles and Patty Mills — and are listening to inquiries, sources said. San Antonio is the sixth seed in the Western Conference at 18-13, blending its veterans and talented young core of Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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