The Los Angeles Lakers have been informed that LaMarcus Aldridge will not be joining their team in free agency, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Further, it's reported that Aldridge didn't "gel" with Kobe Bryant during the meeting, according to Bresnahan.
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Reports indicated that the Lakers were gaining confidence in their chances to sign Aldridge, and the team was given the chance to be the first pitch to the All-Star big man. The Lakers' pitch was "too focused" on opportunities for Aldridge off-court in Los Angeles, which didn't appeal to the soon-to-be 30-year-old, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Several teams are still in the running to sign Aldridge, but the Lakers are now able to move on early in the process. The Spurs are still considered the favorites to sign Lamarcus. Los Angeles still has a chance to make their pitch to DeAndre Jordan, but it's one of the last remaining big name free agents on the table for Los Angeles.
As far as what we know of Kobe's involvement and the entire Lakers' pitch, Bresnahan, Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne had this to share:
Lakers are "stunned" to hear how coolly their presentation was received by LMA. I spoke to 3-4 folks last night who felt good about it.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2015
As @Mike_Bresnahan says, Aldridge felt too much of Lakers presentation focused on outside opportunities; wanted clearer, better b-ball focus— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2015
Kobe spoke for about three minutes in the presentation, said he envisioned LaMarcus Aldridge working with him the same way Pau Gasol did.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 1, 2015
Aldridge was floored in a good way by Houston's analytics, on-court projections in their presentation. Not so with the Lakers.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 1, 2015
There was no talk of black swans or white swans;) Kobe just said he thought they'd be great together & compared it to the game he & Pau ran— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2015
It seems like it wasn't just an issue with whatever it was that Kobe brought to the table.
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