Lakers go Hollywood in meeting with Carmelo Anthony
The Lakers went Hollywood in their 2½-hour meeting Thursday with free-agent forward Carmelo Anthony. Big time.
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.
Team executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak then talked basketball with Anthony, who is also considering New York, Dallas, Houston and Chicago.
One person familiar with the meeting called it “an enjoyable time spent with a very nice guy who was truly engaged in the conversation.”
The Lakers, though, could not predict whether Anthony would eventually sign with them. His final meeting will be with New York.
New Knicks President Phil Jackson will be there.
Kobe Bryant was not at Thursday’s meeting, which took place at the Lakers’ training facility in El Segundo. But Bryant is longtime friends with Anthony and plans to recruit him privately.
The Lakers’ revival plans rest on Anthony. If they sign him, they feel they can get Pau Gasol to rejoin the team for about half of the $19.3 million he made last season. The Lakers finished 27-55 last season, 14th in the Western Conference.
But the Knicks have a built-in advantage because they can sign Anthony, 30, for $129.1 million over five years. The other teams can offer a maximum of four years and $95.9 million.
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.
After the meeting, Kupchak walked Anthony to his car, along with Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose. Reporters waited behind a gate and watched. Anthony did not comment as he left.
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