If it's about "time invested," the Dallas Mavericks have already lost. If it's about "getting straight to the point" -- and Carmelo Anthony actually comprehends the message -- all is not lost ...


Melo's free-agency showcase meant a nine-hour session with the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday and a six-hour meeting with the Rockets in Houston on Wednesday before the Mavericks were allowed a session that lasted between two and three hours following Anthony's late-afternoon landing at Love Field.

The Mavs are almost stubbornly arrogant in their long-standing belief that an extensive dog-and-pony show sends a message that is less appropriate and less powerful than a meeting in which someone like Anthony is approached like a potential business partner.

As owner Mark Cuban said before the Melo meeting, talking of Dallas' pitch: "Playing with Dirk, coaching, our style, our culture.'' (More on that four-point presentation here.)

Cuban after the meeting?

"What I can tell you is that we made this purely a business meeting,'' Cuban communicated via his CyberDust app. "No tours. No banners. All basketball and business.”

The Bulls' recruiting pitch featured a tour of their United Center, a workout session with Derrick Rose and dinner. ... Along with their verbal sales stab.

The Rockets' recruiting pitch included a tour of the Toyota Center, oversized photoshopped signage and a lunch date ... Along with their verbal sales stab.