LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers made their pitch to Carmelo Anthony on Thursday with a flash of Hollywood, an appeal to the future, and hope that a connection was made.
The Lakers still haven’t met with LeBron James’ agent. Nor are there any plans for a meeting, even though the Lakers would like one. A lot.
So they continued to woo Anthony, who was willing to meet with them and spent 2½ hours at their training facility in El Segundo.
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.
Team executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak talked basketball with Anthony, too, who is also considering Dallas, Houston and Chicago and met reps from his old team, New York, later Thursday in Los Angeles.
One person familiar with the Lakers’ meeting with Anthony called it “an enjoyable time spent with a very nice guy who was truly engaged in the conversation.”
Without any positive signal so far from James, the Lakers’ revival plans rest on Anthony.
If they sign him, they also feel they can get Pau Gasol to re-sign for about half of the $19.3 million he made last season.
The Knicks have a built-in advantage because they can sign Anthony, 30, for $129.1 million over five years. The Lakers can offer a maximum of four years and $95.9 million. Dallas, Houston and Chicago cannot get close to that figure.
After the meeting, Kupchak walked Anthony to his car, along with Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose. Reporters and a handful of Lakers fans waited behind a gate and watched. Anthony declined to comment as he left.
Through it all, the Lakers hope they got through to the former Syracuse star.
The last line in Silver’s four-minute video pretty much said it all: “It’s up to you, Carmelo.”
Ginobili has stress fracture of right fibula
SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs say Manu Ginobili has a stress fracture of the lower fibula of his right leg. It’s unclear when Ginobili was injured.
The injury could knock the key reserve for the NBA champion Spurs out of the upcoming World Cup of Basketball, where he was scheduled to play for Argentina.
The tournament starts at the end of August in Spain. Ginobili wrote Tuesday on his Facebook page that his availability will depend on how he feels in about three weeks, but that he remains optimistic.
The Associated Press