UPDATE (12:10 PM PST): According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, some doubt Kobe Bryant will be able to land in time to make the meeting with Carmelo Anthony:
Some doubt now Kobe will land in time to make the Lakers meeting w/ Melo after time was changed. He's going to try to meet Melo later, tho
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 3, 2014
UPDATE (10:55 AM PST): After meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony will meet with the New York Knicks this afternoon according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard:
The Knicks will meet with Melo this afternoon in Los Angeles, after his meeting with the Lakers….
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 3, 2014
After the worst season in franchise history since moving to Los Angeles, the Lakers hope to take their first major step in quickly rebuilding themselves back into championship contenders by meeting with Carmelo Anthony on Thursday.
While Mitch Kupchak and the Buss family were expected to meet with Anthony, there was questions if Kobe Bryant would be part of the pitch. Late Wednesday night, the five-time champion returned from a European vacation to be part of the meeting according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
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.
Kobe and Carmelo have had a strong friendship and the five-time champion thought it was important for him to be there:
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.
Although most feel Anthony will either re-sign with the New York Knicks or sign with the Chicago Bulls or Houston Rockets, the Lakers are reportedly “laser-focused” heading into this meeting. There is optimism that Los Angeles can form a trio of their own by signing Anthony and eventually re-signing Pau Gasol.
With the Lakers adding Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson through the draft, the franchise has ample cap room to work with as they pursue the biggest names in the free agency market.
Lakers Mitch Kupchak On Coach Search And Free Agency