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Buss tells Bryant he is the Lakers' franchise 'cornerstone'

Updated: May 31, 2007, 5:04 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Kobe Bryant -- who asked to be traded, backed off the request and then reiterated it on Wednesday -- talked with Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss on Thursday.

"I talked with Kobe this morning and assured him that I share his frustration and, more importantly, I assured him that we will continue to pursue every avenue possible to improve our team with him as the cornerstone," Buss said in a statement released by the team. "I told him that we will keep him apprised of our progress and ...

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