When Carmelo Anthony meets with the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday, the latter will have something the Chicago Bulls, the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks didn’t have — an iconic, five-time championship winning (top-10 all-time) player on their side helping make the pitch. Who, by the way, would still be on the active roster.
(no offense to Dirk Nowitzki)
But, Kobe Bryant.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant flew in late Wednesday night from a European vacation so he could play a key part in the team’s pitch to free-agent forward Carmelo Anthony on Thursday, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Bryant has a long history and friendship with Anthony and has been courting him for some time, but he felt it was important to be there when the Lakers made their pitch to him at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles.
The Lakers pitch will be centered around the possibility of signing both LeBron James and Anthony this summer. However, if the Lakers (mostly Kobe) can get into Anthony’s ear and leave an impression, that would be huge.
Sometimes there’s just something a guy like Kobe can say to you that NBA owners, coaches and GMs can’t. And the Lakers have that guy. I’m not sure if it gives them the lead in the Melo sweepstakes, but it has to count for something, right?
Anthony is expected to close his free agency stops after a meeting with the New York Knicks. He will then likely choose between the Mavs, Rockets, Bulls, Lakers and Knicks.