Last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers tried to make a few major moves that would’ve completely changed the direction of the storied NBA franchise. GM Mitch Kupchak and company had LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in their crosshairs with Anthony turning into a realistic free-agent option for the Lakers.
Carmelo came to Los Angeles and met with the Lakers brass to hear their sales pitch. After Anthony left the Lakers practice facility following his meeting with the Lakers, the rumors started to circulate about Carmelo seriously considering signing with Los Angeles after a presentation that really impressed him.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, Carmelo decided to stay in New York with the Knicks on a lucrative long-term deal. Although it was believed that the Lakers were close to landing Anthony in free agency, it appears that Kobe Bryant and his close friend came to the conclusion it simply wouldn’t work out in Los Angeles, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“They came in at the 25th hour, they swooped in there,” said Anthony, who owns an apartment in LA. “It was a great visit. The conversations I had with Kobe was just man to man. We both had to come to reality and say is this what we really want? And it didn’t happen. … We’ve been talking for a long time, man, especially this summer just me and him communicating and talking and being honest with one another as friends and brothers should be. It was a lot going on there on his behalf and my behalf trying to figure everything out.”
Once the rumors started floating around about Carmelo possibly teaming up with Kobe in Los Angeles, many wondered how players so similar would worked well together. Both players demand the ball and take a lot of shots. It seemed as though it wouldn’t work and maybe that’s the conclusion both players came to.
Ironically enough, both Carmelo and Kobe are in similar positions in terms of the direction of their teams. The Lakers and Knicks are considered among the worst teams in the league right now. New York is dead last in the Eastern Conference standings at 9-38 while Los Angeles are coming off their 13th win of the season against the Chicago Bulls.
Although the Lakers are in a tough spot currently, the franchise does have another shot to turn things around this summer. The Lakers will try to make a splash in free agency with Kobe coming along to help pitch available players come July.[divide]
Pau Gasol Talks Kobe Surprising Him