Derrick Rose leaves the United Center after the Bulls met with NBA free agent Carmelo Anthony at the facility Tuesday. (M. Spencer Green / Associated Press)
Chicago — The Chicago Bulls made the hard sell for Carmelo Anthony and brought their stars along for the presentation on Tuesday.
That included Derrick Rose, no fan of recruiting. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were there, too, trying to convince the New York Knicks’ free agent to choose the Bulls.
Anthony arrived at a decked-out United Center in the afternoon with agent Leon Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau, a police SUV trailing their oversized limousine.
He walked past the Michael Jordan statue, waving to a small group of cheering fans as he went inside, where he spent much of the afternoon before getting a look at the soon-to-open practice facility across the street.
The Bulls believe they have a strong pitch and a simple selling point: Anthony can transform a playoff team into a championship contender.
They believe uniting Anthony with Rose and Joakim Noah would put them in position to contend for their first title since Jordan and Scottie Pippen led the way to two three-peats in the 1990s. And they certainly made their feelings clear on Tuesday, turning the arena into one big welcome mat.
Two giant digital images above the entrance on Madison Street showed Anthony in a Bulls No. 7 jersey dribbling next to a championship trophy, fans stopping to take pictures. Another image around the corner also showed him in a jersey dribbling.
Signs wrapping around corners of the building and stacked on top of each other read, “Carmelo Anthony and Chicago basketball” and “Melo” with a cropped Bulls logo.
Anthony, a top target in NBA free agency, is expected to visit other teams.
If he signed elsewhere, it would probably bring back memories for Bulls fans of failed attempts to woo stars.
“It should work out,” said James Babbitt of Chicago, who stopped to take pictures of the images above the entrance on Madison. “He can go anywhere and win now — or maybe later. But if he comes here, he can win now and later.”
The Bulls tried to reel in Tracy McGrady under Jerry Krause in 2000, with mascot Benny the Bull and the Luvabulls dancers greeting him at the airport, only to lose out to the Orlando Magic.
In 2010, Chicago had enough salary-cap room to land two stars and went after LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
When those three wound up joining forces in Miami, the Bulls turned to Carlos Boozer — now a candidate to be amnestied — and added depth. They went on to win 62 games on the way to the Eastern Conference finals, with Rose capturing the MVP award.
A year later, their championship hopes got derailed in the playoff opener against Philadelphia when Rose tore the ACL in his left knee. He sat out the following season, and his comeback got cut short when he tore the meniscus in his right knee in November.
With two season-ending injuries, Rose is one big question mark. He has played in just 49 games the past three seasons, and it remains to be seen if he can approach his dominant form. If he does and Anthony lands in Chicago, the Bulls would be a strong contender in the East.
The fact that Rose and Gibson were involved in Tuesday’s presentation was notable for several reasons.
Gibson’s presence was a strong indication that the Bulls intend to keep him rather than trade him to make room for Anthony.
Rose’s participation might quiet critics who have blasted his aversion to recruiting. The point guard’s stance stems from his reserved personality, his loyalty to his teammates and his belief that he can play with anyone — and beat anyone.
Source: Warriors, Livingston reach 3-year deal
Golden State made a move to fill an important role behind point guard Stephen Curry on the first day teams were allowed to speak with free agents.
The Warriors and guard Shaun Livingston agreed to a three-year contract worth about $16 million Tuesday night, a person familiar with the deal said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because teams can’t sign free agents until the NBA’s moratorium ends July 10.
“We intend to enter into a player contract with Shaun Livingston once the moratorium period ends,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers confirmed in a statement. Per league rules, Myers could not comment further.
Yahoo Sports first reported the agreement.
The Warriors are hoping Livingston can bring some relief off the bench behind Curry, which proved problematic at times last season after Jarrett Jack left for Cleveland in free agency. Golden State started the season with Toney Douglas before trading him to Miami and acquiring Jordan Crawford and Steve Blake in separate trades. Crawford and Blake are not expected back.
The 28-year-old Livingston averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists with Brooklyn last season. The veteran guard started 54 games — several when point guard Deron Williams was injured — to help the Nets rebound from a horrific start and reach the second round of the playoffs.
“Thank you Brooklyn for embracing me….,” Livingston wrote on Twitter. “Golden State, excited to be part of the movement!!!”
The Cavaliers agreed to terms on a new five-year contract extension with 22-year-old Kyrie Irving, a deal that locks up the All-Star point guard for six years.
Cleveland appears to be in line to make a strong pitch to LeBron James, who is a free agent for the second time.
... The Bucks have hired Jason Kidd as coach after completing a deal with the Nets, whose general manager, Billy King, planned to meet again with former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins over the New Jersey coaching opening.
... Ryan Saunders, son of Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, has officially joined the staff as an assistant.
... Clark Kellogg is leaving the Pacers after being with the team 32 years as a player, broadcaster and most recently as vice president for player relations. He said he plans to continue his work as a college basketball analyst and commentator for CBS Sports.