Jordan Farmar began the 2008-09 season playing quite well off the bench, serving as the spark behind the league’s best second unit as L.A. opened 20-3, but a few games later he tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee and missed 17 games. Getting back into rhythm was tough for Farmar, though his biggest contribution of the season came at a key moment: After Derek Fisher was suspended for Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Houston, Farmar contributed 12 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals with just one turnover in 33 minutes of L.A.’s 108-94 win.
In the regular season, Farmar averaged 6.4 points, 2.4 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 0.88 steals in 18.3 minutes, while in the postseason, he played just 13 minutes per, putting up 4.7 points, 1.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds.
In his exit interview, he talked about what it was like balancing a player’s desire to play more with sacrificing for the team’s greater good, which ultimately paid off with a championship and more:
- “I just (want to) continue to grow,” he said. “I’ve been making pretty good strides, started off the season well and had to battle an injury to get back to where I was before … It’s hard to have both personal growth and team growth.”
- On his role for next year: “It’s tough. I think it will be similar, hopefully a little more (playing time), I’m trying to get as much as possible.”
- On the chance to start Game 3 against Houston: “It was good for me. My life long trainer told me, ‘You always need to keep your head and stay mentally tough. They’re going to have to use you.’ I didn’t play at all in the Utah series. If Derek Fisher doesn’t commit a flagrant foul I don’t know if I ever play again.”
- Farmar revealed that a few games before the regular season ended, he apologized to all the coaches for showing his frustrations. “Once they knew where my head was at it was easier for me to just enjoy the experience.” He also cited a time when Fisher addressed the team while struggling in the Rockets’ series. According to Farmar, Fish said this: “I can’t just be the leader of the choir I have to be a member also.” Farmar explained that he, Fisher and Brown all supported each other constantly no matter who was playing well or poorly.
- More on Fisher: “Fish is a champion, he’s a leader, one of the captains and he’s proved that he can still do it. I can understand why it’s such a tough spot for them. He’s valuable for so many ways that don’t even show up on the stat sheet.”
- On his summer workouts: “Just continue to work on everything really. Catch and shoot is a big thing in this system .. Defensively putting more pressure on some of the guards … Just a bit of everything. For me it’s about my body and my mindset.”