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LaMarcus Aldridge: Kobe Bryant best part of Lakers’ pitch, report says

LaMarcus Aldridge talks July 10 with media after a news conference at the Spurs' practice facility, where he was formally introduced as a member of the team.

LaMarcus Aldridge talks July 10 with media after a news conference at the Spurs’ practice facility, where he was formally introduced as a member of the team.

(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Kobe Bryant was the “best part” of the Lakers’ free agent pitch to LaMarcus Aldridge, according to Yahoo Sports.

The Lakers were one of many teams pursuing the former Portland Trail Blazers power forward, who ultimately chose to sign with the San Antonio Spurs instead of teams including the Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and Lakers.

“I’ve known Kobe for years, living out of Newport Beach,” said Aldridge. “He knows my kids. I’ve seen him with his daughters. We’ve always had a cordial relationship. I was kind of mad about how it got spun around that it was him that I had problems with -- when actually he was the best part of it.”

The Lakers presentation to Aldridge initially focused on the business and marketing aspects of playing in Los Angeles with one of the NBA’s historic franchises.

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After Aldridge reportedly left unimpressed, finding the meeting lacking specifics on the team’s actual plan on the court, the Lakers scheduled a second conversation with General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Byron Scott, to try and address Aldridge’s basketball concerns.

Ultimately, Aldridge chose a team already in contention for a title in the Spurs, over a still-rebuilding Lakers squad.

Bryant is believed to be in his final season with the Lakers (1-7), while the Spurs (6-2) are in second place in the Western Conference.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.


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