08:08 AM ET 07.27 | Kobe Bryant had been in the middle of overseeing a basketball camp session in Santa Barbara when a phone call brought him back from non-Lakers pursuits. Team General Manager Mitch Kupchak was checking in, alerting him that the front office was in serious pursuit of veteran point guard Steve Nash. ... And that's where Bryant came into the picture. Kupchak had Bryant talk with Nash directly. The Lakers star expressed enthusiasm at such a possible pairing because it would relieve him of ball-handling duties and increase the team's chances of winning a championship. Two days later, the Lakers had Nash in the fold with a three-year, $27-million deal. Bryant's phone conversation with Nash showed that the two could forget their deeply rooted rivalry for the sake of a common goal -- winning a title.