Raja Bell had a lot of options this off-season. He had a lot of teams courting him, and he was in a position to either make a real difference for a team, or settle and just take a long, cushy ride. He averages two three-pointers a game when healthy and is one of the very best man-to-man defenders in the entire league. One very high-profile player wanted to meet face-to-face with him to ask him to come play with him. That player was Kobe Bryant.
Did Raja Bell opt to ride Kobe's coat tails for the championship he's yearned for? No. Did he mercilessly clothesline him in the playoffs 4 years ago because he doesn't take sh!t from anyone? Hell yeah. Did he even meet him? Nuh-uh. You know why?
A competitor like Raja Bell shouldn't want to play WITH Kobe Bryant, he should want to BEAT Kobe Bryant. And that's just what he did by signing with a franchise that actually needed him. Bell signed with a team to whom he could finally bring that elusive championship. Bell understands the pain Jazz fans have undergone, from being leveled by Jordan two years in a row in the Finals, to being teased by making the playoffs every year only to have their hearts broken time and time again.
Bell was not going to be persuaded by anyone. He chose a team that he's familiar with, the team that launched his career back in 2003. He didn't make a big deal out of it. He didn't give up a shot at being the greatest player of all-time, in the service of true warriorhood (you won't find that word in the dictionary, because it only applies to Raja Bell). The sunny beaches of Cali would have been nice, but endless 76 degree weather and a ring earned while sitting on the bench 30 minutes a night would never mean as much as shoving a TRULY DESERVED RING in his rivals' faces, knowing that he earned that ring with indisputable integrity.
That's what a real competitor would do.
This is how LeBron should've ended up.
lol @ tryin to compare bell to lebron. you need to get your facts straight. the only reason bell went to the jazz was because on HIS WAY TO L.A. the jazz called his agent and had a BETTER DEAL on the table. it was about the money not winning thats very clear.
i thought LA had to offer him waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less money..3 yrs near 10 mil with utah...
The Lakers, though, simply couldn't compete with Utah financially after their own busy summer. The two-time defending champions had only $1.8 million of their midlevel exception left to offer Bell next season after signing Steve Blake.
why sign for 1.8, when u can sign for 3 mil a yr.. i heard chicago offered him 2 yrs / 8 mil.... Bell was undrafted, and its not like hes signed a HUGE contract where he can make big time financial sacrafices.. If im bell id take the money, and longer term security myself.. I think it has nothing to do with riding anyones coat tails..