Finding time on the basketball frontcourt floor when Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom are on your team, but Josh Powell made the most of his when receiving burn, putting up 17 points and nine boards in a late-season game against Houston that was missed by Odom and Bynum.
As such, he earned the respect and trust of his teammates and coach, and ended up playing an underrated role in terms of keeping the team loose behind the scenes.
Overall, he averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 11.7 regular season minutes and 2.1 points with 1.2 boards in 5.2 postseason minutes.
The highlights of his exit interview:
- “The meeting went very well,” he said. “They told me, aside from the business aspect, what they wanted me to work on with the offense and certain skills. Not that I know how I can get my shots and be productive. My jump shot, picking and popping, going up more quickly after getting offensive rebounds…”
- On his contract situation, as L.A. has a team option they can choose to pick up: “They didn’t give any promises or guarantees. They appreciated my effort this year and that I came in and worked hard every day. They have a lot of decisions to make.”
- Powell talked about how hard it was to be where he was in the rotation, but acknowledged that he couldn’t worry about it and had to focus only on working hard and contributing where he could.
- On his role of keeping the team loose, alongside Lamar Odom: “I kind of let my personality flow with every team the best I can. Everyone was close and open … We had more of a family bond and could show more of our personality.”
- Powell’s a big Phil Jackson fan: “I told Phil today: I just appreciate him for allowing guys to be players on the court and go learn. You want to perform for him. There were times when I made two or three mistakes and he left me in the game. I appreciate that because lots of coaches (don’t have that patience).”
- On making the first three of his career to close Game 1 of the Finals: “You see, I got a wet ball.”
- Powell’s had a very difficult path to the NBA which included stints in Europe and the NBA D-League, but said he won’t regret anything about it since that’s where his dedicationa nd hunger comes from: “A lot of these guys are drafted, lottery picks, I was undrafted and had to really, really work to get to this point.”
- Even being in the parade last night it still hadn’t settled in for Powell and his family, who’s been by his side throughout his journey: “Just to see the response from the fans and the city, I don’t know… Crazy.”
- Powell said he kept his hair out in the parade because he promised us he would, which we appreciate to an extreme degree: “I did because I promised you.”