Archive for the 'Antawn Jamison' Category

Jamison Season Wrap Up

Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte BobcatsThe only player not to do an exit interview following the recently completed 2012-13 season was Antawn Jamison, but he had a good excuse.

Jamison underwent surgery on his sprained right wrist on Tuesday morning at 7 a.m., the wrist he originally hurt in the second half of the Lakers’ 103-100 home loss to Washington on March 22.

Despite the tear in his wrist, the North Carolina product played in every single remaining contest, his 47.2 shooting percentage in March dipping to a 42.4 clip during eight April games.

In 76 games this year, Jamison averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes off the bench, while totaling 29 points and seven rebounds in four playoff games.

Jamison To Play Through Injury

130324_jamisonLakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health SystemAntawn Jamison, who suffered a sprained wrist in the second half of the Lakers loss against Washington, went through a non-contact practice on Sunday in advance of Monday’s road game at Golden State.

“Antawn did a half practice,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He didn’t have contact only because he didn’t want to aggravate it.”

Jamison acknowledged he hurt the wrist earlier in the season, but it was nothing serious where it forced him to miss any court time.

“I had some soreness in it about a couple weeks ago when I tried to break my fall and I felt a little tightness, but nothing to the point where it prevented me from lifting weights or participating in practice,” he said.

He maintained it is still “sore,” but stated he should be fine going forward, so long as the pain is bearable.

“As long as I’m able to shoot it and put it on the ground for one or two dribbles, I should be fine,” he said. “Just the initial shock taking place and trying to get over the soreness and swelling, but nothing is slowing me down.”

The 15-year veteran later explained how the injury occurred.

“I think it was (Kevin) Seraphin was going up for a shot and I blocked it,” Jamison explained. “It just put my wrist backwards. I kind of had that numbness sensation for a little bit. I tried to play through it, but couldn’t really get any kind of feeling in that wrist area.”

Jamison played just seven third-quarter minutes, while sitting the entire fourth. He missed all three of his field-goal attempts after a 5 for 6 showing towards 11 points in the first half. The North Carolina product maintains his wrist is improving each day, though.

“Each day it’s feeling a lot better,” he said. “I’m able to get the range of motion to go a little bit more and I’ve played through pain before. Initially, these first few road games, I might have to play through a little pain, but after that, I should be back to normal.”

Since the All-Star break, D’Antoni has rotated Jamison, along with Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks off the bench, and all three have played key roles in the Lakers turnaround. In nearly 24 minutes per game post All-Star break, Jamison is averaging 11.8 points and 6.0 rebounds on 50.0 percent field goals and 43.6 percent on 3-pointers.

As for his status at Golden State, Jamison said he should be ready.

“Another day of treatment and rest and I should be good to go tomorrow,” he said.

Jamison Joins the Lakers

L.A.’s Wednesday afternoon’s signing of 14-year NBA veteran Antawn Jamison provides an immediate boost to what was a problem area for the Lakers last season: punch off the pine.

In fact…

A: L.A.’s bench scored an NBA-low 20.5 points per game in 2011-12
B: Jamison is a career 19.5 points per game scorer who averaged 17.2 last season

We should acknowledge that one of the reasons L.A.’s reserves scored so little is that there were very few minutes actually spent on the floor, the subs combining for only 15.6, the second fewest in the league (Boston). Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant (27.9), Andrew Bynum (18.7) and Pau Gasol (17.4) scored so much that there weren’t many points left to be had.

Nonetheless, offensive help off the bench was an issue GM Mitch Kupchak and head coach Mike Brown wanted to address, and they feel like they’ve taken a step with Jamison.

Addl Jamison content:
Read the press release
Watch the press conference:
Part I | Part II
Comments from Mitch Kupchak

Jamison shot only 40.3 percent from the field (34.1 percent threes) last season, but wasn’t helped by a lack of other options to dissuade defensive attention. Indeed, with the exception of a two-month stint with LeBron James to conclude the 2009-10 season in Cleveland, Jamison hasn’t played with anybody who demanded a consistent double team since his year with Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas (2003-04). Last season, he still managed to productive with his combination of leaners, push shots and triples on a 21-45 Cavs team, along with 6.3 boards and 2.0 assists in 33.1 minutes.

“In the past, I’m probably the first or second option a coach is scheming against,” said Jamison. “In this situation, I might be the last guy (they) are even thinking about. I’m definitely eager for those scenarios to happen.”

“I think he’s going to get better looks,” added Kupchak. “I think teams will certainly prepare for him, but they’re going to prepare for Steve Nash, Kobe, Andrew and Pau. Maybe some teams will take him for granted a little bit.”

Jamison’s been a starter for nearly his entire career, coming off the bench only for that Dallas team — run by his new teammate Steve Nash — but is fully embracing his role-to-be this time around.

“(My job is) to come off the bench and add scoring and leadership,” he said. “I think it’s a perfect fit. I don’t have to come in and have everything on my shoulders, just come in and pretty much play my game. It’s gratifying to be with such great talent.”

Jamison can play either the three or the four, and has particularly embraced the role of a “stretch 4″ as his career has progressed.

“Having a stretch 4 creates so many more 1-on-1 opportunities in the paint where it’s not clogged up rather than having two 7-footers in there,” he explained. “It could also help Kobe out a lot with the attention that he receives … it’s a luxury you’re starting to see a lot of in this league (that’s) making it difficult for opponents to match up.”

Not known for his defense, and even drawing a laugh from Kupchak on the topic during his introductory presser, Jamison said he’s determined not to stand out in the wrong way.

“I definitely have improved and am not as much of a negative on the defensive end as I (was) early on in my career, (and) I understand the importance of not being a weak link,” he said. “I’m going to work hard, I’m going to give it my all. You won’t be able to say he’s the weak link to this puzzle where it’s offensively, defensively or in the locker room. I always have been able to get it done.”

Saying that the opportunity to compete for a championship after so many seasons in which 82 games were guaranteed at most, Jamison’s mental batteries are completely re-charged. That goal of winning it all is what ultimately made him decide to take less money than was offered elsewhere to don the purple and gold.

“He’s accomplished everything he wanted to in his life in terms of basketball (except) winning a championship,” said Kupchak. “He was in Italy about eight days ago when I called him and tried to talk him into coming here, and the thing he talked about was the one thing that was missing.”

Jamison called Nash the “best pure point guard since John Stockton” and Kobe “one of the best to ever play the game,” and said he’s feeling great physically thanks to understanding how to manage his body in the offseason … thanks in part to yoga.

But the bottom line, at the age of 37, the veteran who’s played for 12 coaches let it be known that he has never been more excited for training camp to begin.

“It’s a dream opportunity to play with a prestigious organization like the Lakers, with one of the greatest to ever play the game, to play with a front line like that,” concluded Jamison. “Who wouldn’t think this is the ideal situation to be a part of?”

Mitch Kupchak On Antawn Jamison Signing

Below is a transcription of Mitck Kupchak’s comments following the team’s press conference for the signing of Antawn Jamison:

Q: On Jamison potentially getting easier, open looks in L.A. while playing with so many players who demand attention as contrasted with his previous several seasons:
Kupchak: I think he’s going to get better looks. I think teams will certainly prepare for him, but they’re going to prepare for Steve Nash, Kobe (Bryant), Andrew (Bynum) and Pau (Gasol). Maybe some teams will take him for granted a little bit.

Q: On if he and ownership are looking to add further to the bench:
Kupchak: You can always get better. We still feel we have another roster spot or two to look at it. Maybe a back court player.

Q: On his stance of not looking to use the mini mid-level exception:
Kupchak: We look to add value. We have a mini mid-level still available but I think it’s unlikely we’d use it unless there’s an incredible value out there.

Q: On Jamison coming despite having offers for more money elsewhere:
Kupchak: He makes us a better team. We’re happy to have him on board. I didn’t think it was likely that he would agree to come here for the (veteran’s) minimum. As unlikely as it was for us to get a call from Steve Nash, it was just as unlikely (to get one from Jamison). We didn’t recruit him as much as you might think because I didn’t really think it was a possibility, but after several conversations with his representative, I started to say to myself, ‘I think this guy will do it,’ and at that point it happened quickly.

Q: On L.A. being a desirable destination:
Kupchak: L.A. has always been a good destination. We have a lot of advantages that other teams don’t have, fortunately. It’s a big city, a desirable place to play and live. I think we’ve always had that advantage and I think we always will. And stable ownership is certainly a big plus.

Q: On the pursuit of a championship:
Kupchak: I thought (Jamison) got his point across clearly that he had other opportunities, but he’s accomplished everything he wanted to accomplish in his life in terms of basketball (except) winning a championship. He was in Italy about eight days ago when I called him and tried to talk him into coming here, and the thing he talked about was the one thing that was missing. And that’s unusual. That’s rare.

Q: On if the Lakers ever need to put the brakes on in terms of looking around the league at free agents/trades:
Kupchak: Typically it slows down in August, but the brakes are never on.

Q: On if he’s spoken to Andrew Bynum’s agent:
Kupchak: I spoke to his representative today. I wouldn’t share with you what we spoke about, but we communicate regularly. (I’d characterize the conversation as) productive and positive.
*Editor’s note: Kupchak said that nothing is imminent in terms of an extension for Bynum. When asked if there would be something done before the start of the season, Kupchak answered: “Hopefully it will progress.”

Q: On his assessment of L.A.’s second round picks (Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre) from the Las Vegas Summer League:
Kupchak: They are unsigned. I haven’t really had conversations with their representatives. As we get closer to training camp, I will. The bottom line is they are players that were drafted in the 50′s, and they’re always considered long shots to make a team. But we like them both … we’ll see.