It's Lakers' turn to woo Carmelo Anthony

Reuters/The Sports Xchange

Posted at Jul 04 2014 05:05 PM | Updated as of Jul 05 2014 02:57 AM

It was the Lakers' turn on Thursday to try to woo free agent forward Carmelo Anthony to join Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.

Anthony arrived at the Lakers' practice facility a little after 3 p.m. ET, and left almost three hours later. Kobe Bryant, who has been traveling in Brazil and Europe, was returning to take part in the Lakers' pitch, but was not present.

Bryant and Anthony are long-time friends and Olympic team mates, and the Lakers' star was hoping to meet Anthony sometime Thursday night.

As he was leaving the Lakers, Anthony signed autographs and had a few words for reporters.

"You know I can't say anything right now, but I wanted to stop and say hey," Anthony said.

ESPN reported that the Lakers thought their pitch to Anthony went "really well". A source added, "I don't know how big of a shot we have, but I think we have a shot."

Another Lakers source, according to ESPN, described Anthony as "extremely attentive" throughout the meeting.

Anthony also was scheduled to meet with the New York Knicks on Thursday evening in Los Angeles, reported.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, president Jeanie Buss and executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss were expected to be involved in the recruitment of Anthony.

According to, the Lakers have made Anthony and free agent LeBron James the main focus of their offseason, going so far as to hold off hiring a coach and signing other free agents until they could make their pitches to the two players.

James and his agent, Rich Paul, have yet to grant formal meetings to any teams.

The Lakers might be even less appealing to Anthony should they lose free agent center Pau Gasol, who is being courted by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.

The Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets all have met with Anthony this week.

The Knicks remain confident that they can re-sign the All-Star. ESPN quoted a source as saying team president Phil Jackson has "connected" with Anthony.

The Knicks can offer Anthony a maximum contract of five years and $129 million. The most any other team can give him is four years and $96 million.