The Lakers can’t match what the Knicks can offer Carmelo Anthony from a purely financial standpoint, and they can’t match the championship-caliber roster he’d instantly become a part of should he choose to sign with the Bulls.
What L.A. can offer is the chance to play for one of the league’s most storied and glamorous franchises in the city where the power players of the entertainment industry reside.
And wisely, the Lakers reportedly leaned hard on that aspect during at least a portion of their pitch to Anthony at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo on Thursday.
Executives from Anschutz Entertainment Group and Time Warner Cable pitched him on the size and scope of the Los Angeles market. Movie producer Joel Silver put together a four-minute “trailer” of Anthony’s life, narrated by Tobey Maguire.
Lakers marketing guru Tim Harris quarterbacked the business side of the meeting, James Worthy also spoke, as did team governor Jeanie Buss, who expressed her desire to have Anthony join the 16-time NBA champions. …
Silver, who produced “The Matrix,” “Lethal Weapon” and “Die Hard” movies, was also in attendance Thursday and spoke about the long-running relationship between the Lakers and Hollywood.
Kobe Bryant wasn’t present at the meeting, but will sit down with Anthony later on Thursday. The two are close personal friends, and Bryant has likely been recruiting Anthony privately for quite some time.
Times are rougher than usual in Los Angeles, and with so little talent currently under contract, the Lakers are needing to rely on their market — and their Hollywood ties — in order to try to become as appealing as possible to one of the game’s marquee players.
It’s tough to see it working out, unless that relationship between Anthony and Bryant is strong enough to outweigh more logical destinations. It still feels like the Knicks or the Bulls, but only Anthony himself knows if other teams, for whatever reason, might truly have a shot.