CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls are making the hard sell for Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks superstar free agent arrived at a decked-out United Center on Tuesday in a limobus with coach Tom Thibodeau and two other people, a police SUV trailing behind.
Anthony walked past the Michael Jordan statue, waving to a small group of cheering fans as he went inside.
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 Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, who arrived earlier at the arena, 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 giant 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.
Still, Anthony is a top target in NBA free agency and he is expected to visit other teams.