Kobe runs late for Melo meeting

Even the best-laid plans can go awry sometimes.

Star Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was not present at the team's meeting with free agent Carmelo Anthony because the time of the meeting was moved and Bryant was still en route to California from his vacation in Europe, sources told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne.

Bryant did reach out to Anthony directly to explain why he wasn't able to make the meeting, after the time had been moved up, sources said. The two are close friends and have been in touch throughout the process.

Anthony concluded his meeting with Lakers representatives shortly before 6 p.m. ET Thursday. Bryant hoped to meet with Anthony later Thursday evening, according to a source.

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 Anthony in Los Angeles.

The Lakers have made Anthony and fellow superstar free agent LeBron James the main focus of their offseason, going so far as to hold off hiring a coach and signing other free agents until they could make their pitches to the two players.

Sources indicate the Lakers are enamored with Anthony's game and believe he would complement Bryant well.

Anthony has met with the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets already this week. He met with the New York Knicks in Los Angeles on Thursday after his meeting with the Lakers, sources told ESPN.com.

Information from ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne was used in this report.