The Lakers' Pitch To Carmelo Anthony Had Almost Nothing To Do With Basketball, Did Include Tobey Maguire

  • Eric Goldschein

carmelo anthony la laHow did the Lakers manage to vault into serious contention for Carmelo Anthony’s talents last week? It probably had something to do with money and the idea of the Lakers’ being “Carmelo’s team” after Kobe Bryant retires. Plus, a current roster of Melo, Kobe, Julius Randle and (maybe?) Pau Gasol isn’t bad. Probably better than what the Knicks can offer in 2014 (though not the Bulls, certainly).

Turns out John Ireland of the Mason & Ireland radio show in Los Angeles has details of how the Lakers’ pitch meeting went. And it was… curiously devoid of things related to basketball. The audio is here (starts around the 15:02 mark) but here are the most salient details (via r/nba):

1) A pitch from Magic Johnson explaining what it means to be face of Lakers. (And he was calling from Europe! See, when you’re the face of the Lakers, you can afford to call long-distance like that. Roaming charges don’t mean shit.)
2) We’re in the entertainment capital of world. You’re married to an actress. She’ll have better/more opportunities than in New York (Steve Mason takes a moment here to call La La Vasquez a “phenomenal actress,” which is true to the extent that “Think Like A Man Too” is a phenomenal movie [note: It isn’t]. She was also in a Dave Chappelle sketch and an episode of “Sex and the City.”)
3) Movie producer Joel Silver (of Sherlock Holmes, Lethal Weapon) made four minute trailer about Melo being face of Lakers — narrated by Tobey Maguire. (Why?)
4) Time Warner Cable said Melo can pitch a show idea to them. They used an example of a show based around him and La La.
5) Look how famous last four stars of Lakers are and have been after retirement. Being face of Lakers comes with a whole lot of perks. Even the guys who weren’t stars became stars. Look at Rick Fox!

Ireland summed it up thus: “It may be better for you to go be a basketball player in another city but… your family will be better off.” Nevermind that that Melo has talked about how much his family likes living in New York, and how little he wants to uproot his kids. Living in L.A. = Being a superstar. Wait, Dwight Howard left here to live in Houston? Don’t talk about that.

But apparently, the family angle was very convincing to Melo. Enough so that he hasn’t made a decision yet… though that may have more to do with Chris Bosh than the concept of pitching a TV show.

“There are opportunities here if you’re interested in things other than basketball.” Indeed. Too bad Melo is 30 years old and still primarily working on the whole basketball thing.

Photo via Getty