The Los Angeles Lakers will get their chance to pitch their team to Dwight Howard today, yet no Lakers legends will be present, according to the Los Angeles Times. The move is thought to be more about promoting the “future” of the Lakers, instead of looking back at the past.
Maybe the pitch the Lakers will present will be focussed on Howard not having to live up to the legacy the likes of Kareem and Shaq created, but instead to carve out his own lane in the Lakers’ franchise. After all, one day the team will be his.
The Lakers’ “pitch party” will consist of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss, Mike D’Antoni, Tim Harris (Lakers business/marketing) and Time Warner Cable representatives.
Jeanie Buss “might” be there, according to the Times. She sent out a tweet earlier today, urging Howard to say in Los Angeles:
According to ESPN, the reps from TWC will be a part of the pitch, explaining how they could cover Howard on their channel:
[pullquote]The Lakers signed a record television contract in 2012 with the cable giant that could be worth $5 billion over 25 years.
The NBA does not have a problem with Lakers broadcast partner Time Warner Cable SportsNet being part of the pitch for Howard, according to a league source. If TWC was to offer further compensation, that would be a violation of league rules. However, simply being present for the sitdown is in no way a breach of league etiquette.
“They could simply be presenting ideas about how they plan to cover Howard and the Lakers in the future,” said the source. “That is allowed.”[/pullquote]
The Rockets are said to have discussed television opportunities, too, though TWC are a television giant and could likely offer Howard better opportunities.
Another part of the Lakers’ pitch, per ESPN, will be the idea of surrounding Howard with multiple three-point shooters this summer, a plan that worked well in Orlando:
Part of what the Lakers intend to sell to Howard, according to a source with knowledge of L.A.’s thinking, is that they will be able to make the necessary personnel moves to surround Howard with shooters and allow the center to showcase his game down low with proper floor spacing.
To that point, a large portion of the initial wave of free agents the Lakers made inquiries about fit that description.[/pullquote]
Nick Young, Carlos Delfino and Chase Budinger are just a few of the names that have emerged so far.
The Lakers are also said to be lining up a few “surprises” for Howard’s meeting later today.