Posted: Tue July 2, 2013 8:34PM; Updated: Tue July 2, 2013 8:34PM

Kobe Bryant, Lakers make final pitch to Dwight Howard

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Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dwight Howard met with the Lakers for two hours regarding his impending choice of NBA home.
Damian Dovarganes/AP

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and other representatives of the team met Tuesday for two hours with free agent center Dwight Howard to make their pitch for keeping him in Los Angeles.

Kupchak says in a statement that at the meeting, "we told him how important he is to the Lakers team, franchise, fans and community.''

Howard's free agency had been prominent in the Lakers' minds since their season ended in a first-round playoff sweep.

Howard, a seven-time All-Star, has vowed to make his decision in his own best interests, giving no indication he favored the Lakers over any other team.

The Lakers can offer a maximum of $118 million over five seasons, and other teams can offer $88 million over four years.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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