Lakers rose from ashes of losses to Phoenix

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Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire (1) shoots over Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 28, 2009 in Phoenix. The Suns won 118-103. (AP Photo/Matt York) By Matt York Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire (1) shoots over Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 28, 2009 in Phoenix. The Suns won 118-103. (AP Photo/Matt York) By Matt York

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Kobe Bryant now claims he has no interest in getting revenge on the Suns for the Lakers' back-to-back playoff series losses to Phoenix a few years ago.

And if he really thinks about it, Bryant might want to thank the Suns. Those losses catalyzed the roster changes that have put the Lakers back into the Western Conference finals in every year since.

Phoenix eliminated the Lakers in 2006, rallying from a 3-1 series deficit. The Suns did it again in the first round in 2007, a defeat that led Bryant to request a trade from his only NBA franchise.

Instead, the Lakers rebuilt their roster around Bryant, most notably trading for Pau Gasol.

The conference finals begin Monday at Staples Center.