Troy Murphy appeared in 59 games for the Lakers in the regular season, averaging 3.2 points with 3.2 rebounds while making 28 of 67 three pointers (41.8 percent). He played 15 total minutes in the postseason, as Jordan Hill claimed the majority of backup big man minutes behind Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Below is a summary of Murphy’s exit interview:
On his season as a whole: “I enjoyed playing here. Unfortunately it ended sooner than we’d expected. I’m going to take some time off and collect my thoughts and see what the future has in store … It was an honor to play here. So much history, great fans, great players and every year you know you’re going to be playing for a championship. It’s a real honor.”
On having to stay ready. “It was tough being in and out of the rotation, but when my number was called, I tried to go out there and do what the coaches asked of me, and stay ready for when they called.”
On staying healthy: “It was huge for me to be able to be healthy the entire time after (being hurt last season) was tough, so I feel good about that.”
- Murphy explained that the offense was designed to utilized the size advantage the Lakers had, and that no team in the league had better bigs. His role was basically to space the floor for either Bynum or Gasol, and rebound the ball on the other end. But more specifically, Murphy got into how the league is in terms of “stretch 4′s” like himself, and how Gasol essentially had to play out of position and sacrifice much of his game: “The way our I think it’s based on the personnel. You look at a team like San Antonio that was a low post dominating team for many years, and as Tim Duncan has gotten older they’re relying more on the 3-point shot, so they have a guy like Matt Bonner space the floor for them.”
And that, said Murphy, is why not having camp or much time to practice was difficult for the Lakers: “I think that’s where the abbreviated season was a detriment to us, trying to figure out with those three guys that can each post up and command a double team where to put those guys. That’s a hard thing. Other teams have been together know where guys are going to go and how to play off each other.”
- More specifically on Gasol: “I think Pau is a different kind of animal because most guys that are stretch fours are as good as Pau is in the post. You might think Pau is better in the post than he is as a stretch four. He can command a double team and is effective in both areas, so you don’t really want to take that away from him as much. It’s a tough thing for him to try and balance out when to play inside and when to be that stretch guy because he has the ability to do both.”
And finally, what stood about about playing with Kobe: He makes some impossibly difficult shots every game. His basketball IQ is by far greater than anybody I’ve ever played with. He understands where the defense is coming from, where he’s going to be open, and that was very impressive just observing that situation. He makes it easier for guys because he gets double-teamed … he’s just a great player.