The Los Angeles Lakers, after a fairly disastrous couple of seasons, are finding it difficult to get things going this free agency.
Coming into the busy period with lofty ambitions of snagging some of this year's top stars they look set to be snubbed by the vast majority - including All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.
They did get the recent Portland Trail Blazer in for a meeting but failed to impress him with a focus on history. And now, according to one report, we know just what Kobe Bryant told Aldridge during that meeting in an effort to recruit him.
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According to Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, Bryant's words fell on deaf ears as he tried to convince Aldridge that the Lakers front office were more than capable of turning things around. Per Ding:
"Bryant did not believe the franchise could help him win again. Until, much to his awe and delight, Bryant said, the Lakers turned it all around in 2008, getting him Pau Gasol and two more titles.
"Bryant didn't stop there: He brought up the blocked Chris Paul trade to Aldridge as even greater proof of Mitch Kupchak's team-building brilliance."
In Kobe's eyes his pitch focussing on how the Lakers have recovered from adversity in the past was the best way to convince a current All-Star to go all in with a franchise who look nowhere near playoff ready.
Citing the vetoed trade that would have seen Chris Paul arrive from New Orleans in 2011 - a move that would actually have "saved a ton of money" - was supposed to show that Kupchak was able to build new rosters, and would be able to do so even when Kobe steps away from the game in the near future.
Stars staying away
Unfortunately, Bryant's words, coupled with the general emphasis on past glory, appears to have put off LaMarcus Aldridge who is now considering between the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs, per reports.
The anecdote perfectly represents the Los Angeles Lakers' current conundrum.
They have a glorious past and remain one of the most recongizable NBA teams in the world but there current position as Western Conference bottom-dwellers is making it virtually impossible for any of the game's top stars to see a way back to that status any time soon.
Lakers fans: How do you franchise recover from their reputation? Have your say in the comments section below...
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