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Kobe flies back to LA for meeting with Carmelo


In an effort to help the recruiting effort of Carmelo Anthony to the Los Angeles Lakers, star Kobe Bryant grabbed a flight back to LA to make his presence felt. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, Bryant caught a late Wednesday night flight to help out the team’s efforts in signing one of his friends and prized free agents, Anthony.

With only four players currently under contract for next year, the Lakers have keyed their pursuits to begin with Anthony and LeBron James. There is belief that Anthony’s arrival could also help the Lakers re-sign forward Pau Gasol, who has been coveted among the Lakers, Bulls, among other teams.

Not only would Anthony, Gasol, and Bryant make a big turnaround for the Lakers franchise on the court, but it would also be the best financial move for Gasol as the Lakers can offer him the most money.

As far as Kobe’s involvement with the pitch to Anthony, Shelburne says it comes down to the financial gains that the Lakers received last year despite a poor performance on the court.

If the team can add to its roster with Anthony, sources said, Gasol would be far more inclined to re-sign with the Lakers.

Selling that vision to Anthony will fall to Bryant, general manager Mitch Kupchak, Lakers president Jeanie Buss, executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss and several other figures the team has enlisted. Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported Monday that the Lakers turned more than $100 million in profits last season –after paying luxury-tax and revenue-sharing fees — because of their lucrative television and radio contracts.

With the Lakers looking to not just turn around their team, but to make a splash in free agency, to have Kobe Bryant fly back from Europe and make his face and presence felt, is definitely a selling item for the Lakers.

Follow Mike Pendleton on Twitter @MP2310

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Photo credit: (Danny Moloshek/Reuters)

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