Carmelo Anthony is the second-hottest name in NBA Free Agency this summer, behind LeBron James. And while some rumors have Bron and Melo winding up side by side, in all likelihood they'll be signing in separate cities. One team that has interest in both players is the Los Angeles Lakers.

It seems unlikely that James would flee Miami for Los Angeles, given the dearth of talent outside of Kobe Bryant — whose presence alone might be a deterrent to LeBron. Anthony, on the other hand, seems to be taking L.A. more seriously. He met with the Lakers on Thursday, according to ESPN. Also present at said meeting: Kobe, who returned from vacation just in time to be a part of the Lakers' pitch to the 30-year-old small forward.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant flew in late Wednesday night from a European vacation so he could play a key part in the team's pitch to free-agent forward Carmelo Anthony on Thursday, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Bryant has a long history and friendship with Anthony and has been courting him for some time, but he felt it was important to be there when the Lakers made their pitch to him at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles.

No word on whether that "undisclosed location" was actually Kobe's basement torture chamber.

Melo has already met with the Mavericks, Bulls and Rockets earlier this week. Where do you think he winds up?

[via ESPN]