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Mavs get first crack at L.A. since trade

Time to find out if Kobe was right when he said Dallas is on par with Lakers

Updated: April 8, 2010, 1:40 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Kobe Bryant speaks fluently in English, Spanish, Italian and hype.

Surely the latter is what Bryant was speaking when he suggested that the Dallas Mavericks' acquisition of Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood had put the Mavs on par with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Really?

Butler, a former teammate and close friend of Bryant, said he takes the Mavs-killer at his word.

"Kobe wouldn't say anything that he wouldn't mean. He's one of those guys," ...

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