- Ian Begley, ESPN New York Writer
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Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant won five rings together, forming one of the most successful player-coach relationships in NBA history along the way.
But the relationship between Jackson and Bryant may be a bit icy over the next few weeks.
The two NBA greats are on opposite sides of the chase for Carmelo Anthony -- and Kobe’s going to do all he can to make sure Carmelo ends up in L.A.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Bryant has already put in a call to Carmelo to talk free agency and he plans to meet with Melo to sell him on the Lakers.
The Lakers are one of several teams expected to chase after Anthony. They didn’t make the list of three teams Anthony plans to visit (Rockets, Mavericks, Bulls) but Anthony and Bryant are close friends. So Kobe’s pitch to Carmelo could impact Melo’s thinking.
Two things to keep in mind regarding the Lakers: Anthony has said he wants to put himself in position to compete for a title and the Lakers are coming off one of their worst season's in franchise history. Basketball people also have questions about how Carmelo and Kobe can fit together.
It's worth noting that a source told Broussard that there is no true favorite in Anthony's mind at the moment.
According to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers have been trying to package the No. 7 overall pick in tonight’s draft with the expiring contract of Steve Nash (who's owed $9.7 million next season) to free up enough room to offer LeBron James and Anthony at least $16 million each next season to join forces with Bryant.
If the Lakers swing and miss on LeBron, they could have enough cap space to offer Anthony a max contract for $96 million over four years.
The Knicks can offer Anthony a max contract of five years, $129 million but it is unclear at this point if Jackson is committed to offering Anthony a maximum deal.
The Lakers are among several teams -- including the Rockets, Mavs, Heat, Clippers and Bulls -- who are expected to have strong interest in Anthony.
The free agency period begins on July 1.
Question: Do you think Bryant and Anthony could be a good fit together?
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Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant won five rings together, forming one of the most successful player-coach relationships in NBA history along the way. But the relationship between Jackson and Bryant may be a bit icy over the next few weeks.