It was New York and the extra $30 million (plus trusting Phil Jackson) or Los Angeles and the Lakers brand and Kobe Bryant.
This isn’t official but it seems to be New York won out, as reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
A person close to Anthony told The News on Wednesday that barring a last minute change of heart Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks after “agonizing over this” for the past week.
“He is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career. But he wants to get it done in New York. He told me he believes in Phil,”said the friend who was with Anthony before Anthony’s scheduled workout with Kevin Durant and Kevin Love in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Other sources have yet to confirm this — the teams have yet to be told anything and his agent is denying the report — this is based on one report, albeit from a well-connected reporter. If you’re a Lakers’ fan that can’t let the dream die go ahead and hold out hope. But brace for the worst.
In the end it was all about the money… although if he’s not happy in a couple of years he can force his way out, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
He adds that Anthony’s dream of teaming up with LeBron was never realistic — the numbers didn’t work out well anywhere with them both getting the max, plus they weren’t talking.
With Anthony in the fold Phil Jackson is said to be targeting Pau Gasol to come to New York and join him. Gasol has plenty of options with the Bulls, Spurs and Thunder having all made big pitches to him. Those teams can all offer more than Gasol, but he is also an urbane, Barcelona-raised person who is more likely to choose a big city over small.
The Houston Rockets, already had moved on from Anthony and have made a max offer to Chris Bosh, who was a better fit for them. They are all waiting on LeBron James to make his decision.
For the Lakers, it’s back to waiting. The plan all along has been to land a superstar that will take over as the face of the franchise after Kobe retires in a few years. While many Lakers fans had talked themselves into Anthony for that role, players such as Kevin Love or potentially in a couple of years Kevin Durant would be better fits. (It’s too early to speculate on if Durant will even leave Oklahoma City, but Love is on his way out of Minnesota one way or another and has ties to L.A.) The Lakers’ plan has always been to get the star then figure out the system, the opposite of the Knicks’ plan with Phil Jackson.