Lakers reserve forward Josh Powell, stuck behind the NBA’s deepest and most talented front court, saw limited duty in 2009-10, averaging 9.2 minutes per game in 63 regular season appearances, and 3.1 minutes in 13 postseason showings.
Powell managed 2.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in the regular season, with his best stretch coming with Pau Gasol out with a hamstring injury in early November, when Powell scored 13 points with four boards in a win over Memphis, then put up 14 points and seven rebounds in a win over Phoenix.
Powell, a free agent, spoke to media members after his exit interview. Below are the highlights:
- (On his meeting with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak): “It was very informative. It went pretty good. He gave me what he thought about how the season went for me. There were some notes from coaches about me. He was understanding of the fact that the opportunities were less.” Powell said that Kupchak shared how much the team appreciated Powell’s hard work throughout the season, and that the meeting was overall positive.
- Powell worked very hard to ensure that he was ready to play if called upon by Phil Jackson, both at practice and in the weight room. In fact, trainer Chip Schaefer said that no one put more work into the team’s off court strengthening program.
- While he’s a free agent, Powell revealed that he would prefer to stay in L.A. if given the opportunity: “Of course I love it here. The relationships that I’ve built, and be able to accomplish a lot.”
- Powell was the rare younger player to have the ear of team leaders Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, which he said he felt came through his work ethic and drive, which is the best way to earn respect from the vets.
- (On how hard it is to stay ready without minutes): “It’s extremely hard because the amount of work that you have to put in more so when you don’t play versus when you do when it comes to conditioning, and those things, you have to put in way more to stay with it. When your number is called, you might get 30 second, you might get 10-15 minutes, you never know.”
- (On how he weighs staying with a winner vs. potentially earning more minutes): “You don’t. I just deal with it as it comes. Everybody wants to win, but everybody can’t win.”
- (On his basketball journey, not the easiest of paths, resulting in two championships): “It’s worth it. I don’t know how to put it into the best answer. For me emotionally and other things that I felt. It’s been worth the ups and downs. It’s been worth everything. I couldn’t really tell you the meaning, I’m just very happy to have gotten to this point.”