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#pounditThursday, June 8, 2023

Lakers reportedly pitched branding to LaMarcus Aldridge, who wanted basketball

LaMarcus Aldridge

Gone are the days when the Los Angeles Lakers were perennial contenders for an NBA championship, producing a product that essentially sold itself to free agents. Now, the Lakers have to work to convince players that the franchise can turn things around.

They were apparently unable to do that with LaMarcus Aldridge.

On Wednesday, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported that one of the reasons Aldridge was unimpressed in his meeting with the Lakers is that he didn’t mesh well with Kobe Bryant. Bresnahan later added that the power forward was put off by the Lakers pitching branding opportunities in LA.

The Lakers talked a lot about branding opportunities in the city of Los Angeles and tried to push their youth movement, but Aldridge simply wanted more in-depth basketball talk.

He was impressed by the Spurs’ plan, which outlined how the franchise would be built around him and 24-year-old Kawhi Leonard, driven forward by the need for another championship to send off Tim Duncan with a sixth ring.

You can’t blame the Lakers for trying to sell Aldridge on life in one of America’s most popular cities. They’re coming off a 21-61 season and Kobe will soon turn 37. From a basketball standpoint, the Lakers are not in good shape.

That said, the corny tweets they sent obviously had no impact on Aldridge. He was reportedly more impressed with the Houston Rockets and the analytics portion of their pitch. The Rockets also have the luxury of being able to sell free agents on joining Dwight Howard and James Harden.

With or without Kobe, the Lakers have officially entered full rebuilding mode.


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