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Hip to be Clip?

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As the Lakers put the finishing touches on a contract for new coach Rudy Tomjanovich, we don't anticipate too many "Ru-dy" chants at STAPLES Center if Kobe Bryant is not wearing Purple and Gold.

Byrant met with the Clippers yesterday at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles. LAists presumes he didn't need a tour of the arena. Bryant has also met with the Nuggets, but it's doubtful that Kobe's frequent trips to Eagle has warmed him to the Rocky Mountain State. He's also scheduled to meet with the Knicks, but they can only offer the $5 million mid-level exception thanks to Big Apple-sized contracts to Allan Houston, Penny Hardaway, Stephon Marbury, Tim Thomas, and Shandon Anderson.

In the meantime, Quentin Richardson has agreed to an offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns, putting the Clippers on the clock with Kobe as they'll have 15 days to match Richardson—their fallback plan.

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LAist advises Kobe to be careful what you wish for. Few men would dare choose to play for the Donald (Sterling). And the Clippers could have avoided this whole courtship had they merely selected Bryant with the 7th pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. The Clippers brilliantly passed up Kobe (and Peja Stojakovic, Steve Nash, Jermaine O'Neal, and others) to take Lorenzen Wright out of Memphis.

Does Kobe really want to play for a franchise where these kinds of mistakes are routine?