Steve Blake and Matt Barnes had such high hopes coming to the twice defending champion Lakers last offseason, the prospect of joining Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant and Co. so enticing for two veterans in search of an elusive ring.
The season ended suddenly and in collective disappointment for the Lakers 10 months later, and Barnes and Blake took the Round 2 loss to Dallas particularly hard, as neither were satisfied with what they were able to provide individually despite wanting so badly to contribute. Barnes was most frustrated about not being able to find his way back from knee surgery in January, while Blake struggled to find a rhythm within the offense, or hit the perimeter shots he’s made throughout his career.
A week past exit interviews, no Lakers player has returned to the building to start working out again (as is customary), but Director of Athletic Performance/Player Development Chip Schaefer, also in charge of strength and conditioning for the team, said he expects “gym rats like Barnes and Blake” to be among the first to come back to the gym.
Where better to start attacking all that pent up frustration?