Raja Bell RumorsAll NBA Players
“It’s a HUGE deal,” former NBA player Raja Bell said of the international ball in a text with CBS Sports on Tuesday. “I’ve always said that FIBA balls affected my shot and other NBA players’ shots tremendously. I HATE that ball! “It’s lighter, feels smaller, different texture,” Bell continued. “I mean, when the art of shooting is based on muscle memory, and you change all the factors except the rim size and height, it’s going to be difficult.”
Raja Bell, who played in the NBA from 1999-2013 and squared off against Kobe Bryant countless times, spoke about the Lillard-Bryant comparison on the latest episode of ‘The Ringer NBA Show’ They both have that ‘killer’ mentality.“I feel like Dame is the closest thing to Kobe that there is in the game. I don’t mean that from the standpoint of the way they look doing it, I’m talking about mentality, where it is always in assassin mode type of thing with them. Their always kind of creating a chip. There is just always something to prove and you feel that when you watch them play, there is the respect that they feel like they have earned and they are not given and the greats have to do that, right? That’s what keeps you on point and keeps you questing for the next thing. He is, for me, a problem. If I had to guard him, I don’t even know really where I would start. The range is what it is and he is shifty and he is sneaky athletic.
03 Nov 19
On the topic of Bryant not passing, Raja Bell shared an incredible story on CBS Sports’ “Kanell and Bell” podcast. Bell played with O’Neal on the Phoenix Suns, after O’Neal’s time with Bryant had ended. While there, O’Neal explained to Bell that the Lakers had a signal they would use when they planned to stop passing the ball to Bryant because he was shooting too much.
“Shaq told me a story. We had a kid named Gordon Giricek on our Suns team, he had gotten there, and Gordon would go in the game, and Gordon was about his buckets. So Gordon would get in, and no matter what we were doing, no matter what the flow or the chemistry was, Gordon would be just, you know, shooting the ball. Gordon was my guy, I played with him in Utah. “But Shaq started saying ‘hey guys, this is the symbol’ (twitches thumbs downward) ‘when I give you this, Gordon doesn’t get the ball anymore.’ And I’m like ‘dude what is the background on that, where’d you come up with that?’ And he was like ‘when Kobe was young, he would be going in and just trying to get ’em, so the rest of us had a universal kind of code that if we looked at each other and went (gives signal) then that meant Kobe didn’t get the ball anymore.'”
With Kobe Day last week, I have to ask: Is there a favorite Kobe memory you have? Raja Bell: There were a lot on the court. We traded a lot of elbows and a lot of smack-talking and whatnot, but some of my favorite memories are when I go back and we were skewing through the media at that time. I don’t know how Kobe felt, but I genuinely hated the cat at that time. I really didn’t like him. Then the coolest part about it for me was once the time had passed and I saw him the next time, we started to develop a little bit of respect. There was a relationship that started to develop. We never became besties or anything like that, but there was a time when I’d reach out and see if he needed anything or somewhere to be for Thanksgiving if they were in town or I’d ask about his family and just check in. I felt that was pretty cool. That was my favorite part about that whole thing. There seemed to be a respect level that we got to and when you can say you did that with one of the best players of all time that’s pretty cool for me.