Archive for the 'Jordan Farmar' Category

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Lakers Attend Rookie/Sophmore Game

blog_as10rookiegame_500While the Lakers didn’t have anyone participating in this year’s Rookie/Sophmore Challenge that didn’t stop three Lakers from attending for various reasons.

Guard Jordan Farmar, in town as the team’s players association representative, sat courtside next to the the Clippers’ Chris Kaman while watching fellow UCLA Bruins Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.

At halftime the NBA held their first ever Dunk-In contest between DeMar DeRozan and Eric Gordon with the winner gaining entrance into Saturday night’s main event. Shannon Brown is quickly becoming the people’s favorite to take the Slam Dunk crown but that didn’t stop him from doing a little scouting Saturday.

For Pau Gasol it was a family affair as for the second year in a row his brother Marc was involved in the game.

Farmar Bombs Away Against Jazz

59541458Prior to L.A.’s Wednesday evening tip off in Utah, Lakers guard Jordan Farmar had his three-point stroke rolling in pregame warmups.

Teamed with Adam Morrison, Farmar nailed triple after triple to beat assistant coach Brian Shaw and Sasha Vujacic six consecutive times in a two-on-two shooting drill that takes place before every game.

As it turned out, that stroke carried right into the actual game: Farmar hit 4-of-4 from distance, crucial shots as the rest of the Lakers were only 1-of-9 from three-point range.

“My stroke felt great before the game, but more than anything I’ve been trying to get to the basket,” said Farmar, who scored 18 points off the bench, including some finishes at the rim. “But Sasha hit me with a nice pass at the end of the first quarter, and when that one went in, I knew I was going to continue to feel that stroke.”

Farmar went on to swish three more three-pointers, two off screen and rolls between his teammates, with the final triple – which came from 25 feet with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter – serving as an early dagger, quickly turning Utah’s ‘can we still do this?’ 12-point deficit into a slammed door 15-point mountain.

With Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum out of the game, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol were massive for the Lakers as well, combining for 47 points, 30 rebounds, five assists, four steals and seven blocks. Paired with Farmar, the three were a modicum of efficiency, making 24-of-35 shots (69 percent). But as Farmar explained, the Lakers got something from everybody else as well in the 96-81 victory.

“Nobody wants Andrew or Kobe to be hurt, but it does give guys more opportunities to go out there and do what they can do,” said Farmar. “Most touches run through Kobe, and after Pau (Gasol), Andrew probably gets the next most opportunities. So the touches had to disperse somewhere, and that’s going to start with Pau, Lamar and Ron (Artest).

“But you saw Sasha making big plays, Shannon (Brown) doing his thing, myself being able to be aggressive. It just helps everyone play more in rhythm, and that’s what we had to do with (Bryant and Bynum) out.”

Even when Bryant and Bynum both likely return after the All-Star break, the Lakers can use a back up point guard who’s made nearly 42 percent of his three-pointers in January and February combined.

Lakers Excited to Meet President Obama

Before the results to the 2008 Presidential election became official on Nov. 4 of that year, many of the Lakers players were almost as plugged into the outcome as they were the team scouting reports heading into NBA Finals seven months later.

Then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama won in November, and the Lakers followed suit by defeating Orlando in Game 5 in June to secure not just the NBA title, but a trip to the White House to meet the President seven months later a day before L.A.’s Tuesday night game against Washington.

Among Obama’s numerous supporters within the NBA community is Derek Fisher, who relayed his and his team’s sentiments about Monday’s meet and greet prior to L.A.’s Sunday evening game in Toronto.

“We’re all excited about it,” said Fisher. “It’s one of those rare times in an individual lifetime where there is an election or an event that changes the course of the next 30, 40, 50 years.

“A lot of people, including us, feel like President Obama’s election was one of those moments. So to be the first team that gets to actually go and meet him, see the White House and be apart of the entire event is pretty cool.”

Fisher’s backup, Jordan Farmar, expressed similar feelings.

“I’m really excited,” he noted. “I’ve never been to the White House, and being a guest there will be special.“

Farmar actually had a chance to introduce President Obama before a speech in Newport Beach in the summer of 2008, and said he jumped at the opportunity after his agent set up the details.

“It was really special, and President Obama was really cool,” said Farmar, who spoke to Obama for about 15 minutes before the speech. “We talked basketball right away; we had just lost to Boston in the Finals then, but we’ll have something better to talk about this time.”

Yet in his haste to pack for L.A.’s eight-game road trip (three down, five to go), Farmar forgot to pack a suit to wear to the ceremony.

“I had to go get one made (Sunday in Toronto),” he said. “You can’t just go to the White House in jeans and a t-shirt.”

Fortunately, Farmar’s suit was delivered during the game in Toronto; he certainly couldn’t afford to be less than sharp as the first team in what is a predominantly African American professional league met the country’s first African American President.

“A lot of us never thought we would see this day,” said Farmar, who like Obama comes from a bi-racial background. “I feel very special to be apart of it and to have the chance to share this with my teammates – we all get along and really care about each other, so it’s really meaningful.”

One of those teammates, Lamar Odom, responded immediately to a locker room question about his favorite president.

“President Obama, in a land slide,” he said before offering some perspective. “My grandmother was born in Georgia in 1923 … A lot of people coming up didn’t have hope … I’m looking forward to going tomorrow and meeting him face-to-face.”

While Odom joked that he also loved Obama because he was a fellow lefty, his eyes sparkled a bit as he imagined taking a photo with the President.

“Just having that picture in my house in Queens where I was born and raised … that will be a big deal to my family.”

Farmar Kicks Up Charity Effort

100116jordanfarmar_homedepotcenterOn Friday evening in New York, Jordan Farmar joined teammate Pau Gasol in donating to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which came on top of his previous $2,500 donation to Haiti Relief that resulted from his sinking a 50-foot put earlier in the week.

But even that wasn’t the first time he’d done charitable work in January, because on the 17th at the Home Depot Center, Farmar (pictured above in the lower center) participated in the second annual Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge.

The event, which helped raise nearly $200,000 for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Mia Hamm Foundation, was designed to raise funds and awareness primarily for bone marrow disease, to which Hamm’s brother lost his life in 1997.

Farmar, who shares the same agent as the greatest female soccer player of all time, supported the effort from the sideline in order to ensure his basketball health.

“Mia and Nomar are great people and it was for a great cause,” he said. “We didn’t have a game that day so I was happy to get out there and support them.”

Farmar said the highlight of his day came at halftime, when patients suffering from life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma were introduced to their bone marrow donors for the first time.

“It was a lot of fun just being there and especially seeing some of the kids that were there that got helped out by their donors,” Farmar explained. “Just to see how much one person can change another’s life is pretty cool.”

Gasol Donating $1,000 Per Point Tonight

blog_100122paugasolhaitiFor every point Lakers big man Pau Gasol scores tonight against the New York Knicks he will donate $1,000 to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

The two former presidents established the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF) to respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life over the long term for those affected, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and “build back better,” according to their website, clintonbushhaitifund.org

President Clinton will be on hand at Madison Square Garden for tonight’s game and will be interviewed by ESPN at halftime along with Gasol and the Knicks’ Danilo Gallinari.

Other Wasserman Media Group players like Antawn Jamison, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Tyreke Evans and many other will join in donating monies per point in tonight’s game.

Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, also represented by Wasserman, headlines a group of players making generous contributions to the relief effort.

Earlier this week the Lakers organization and their fans mobilized on several fronts to raise nearly $40,000 for American Red Cross – Haiti Relief and Recovery. Read more about that here.

Farmar Shows Off SAG Card

Jordan Farmar SAG CardAs Jordan Farmar recorded a bit for LetShannonDunk.com after Monday’s practice, I made reference to how smooth he can be on camera.

Legitimately media savvy, Farmar needs but a little prompt before rolling off a 30-second sound bite that sounds like he had written it down and rehearsed several times.

Alas, after I said that, Farmar promptly pulled out his Screen Actor’s Guild card*, suggesting that it’s no accident.
*Farmar appeared on the CBS show “Numb3rs.”

Fair enough.

Farmar’s Improved Play Sparks Bench

Jordan Farmar on NetsL.A.’s nine-game winning streak – beginning on Nov. 17 against Detroit and lasting through the team’s most recent victory over Phoenix on Dec. 6 – has featured more than one common thread, but among the more significant has been a consistent bench contribution from Jordan Farmar.

Take away a poor shooting game against New York (1-of-7 for two points), and the backup point guard has scored at least eight points in every win, reaching double figures five times to average 9.1 points per game, plus 15 assists, 14 rebounds and nine steals. He had averaged just 4.5 points in L.A.’s first 10 games, three of them losses.

Farmar’s even done his best LeBron James defensive impression by adding three impressive chase-from-behind blocks, erasing guaranteed hoops from respective opponents.

“I’m trying to come along and be aggressive, just play the game I know how,” Farmar summarized. “When I see stuff, try to make it happen … just play free and have a good time.”

That’s not to say it’s all been perfect; Farmar’s been particularly frustrated with his sub par performance at the free throw line. He’s made just half of his 12 attempts during the streak and 13-of-20 (65 percent) on the season. Small sample size, sure, but still…

Jordan Farmar dunk“It’s really bothering me,” he said. “The only way for me to stop thinking about it is to get it down so (it’s just) repetition (in games).”

At least he’s nailing them in practice, hitting 95-of-100 shots before addressing reporters after Monday’s session.

His head coach, meanwhile, is pleased with how the L.A. native has been able to find a balance between his aggressive nature and his mandate to stay within the offense.

“I think Jordan got kind of a second wind and realized that he has to be aggressive out there and exhibit his skills,” said Phil Jackson. “We took a part of our game away. We put the second unit back in more confinement and organizational things that they have to do, and so I think it took him a little time to adjust to that.”

That “part of our game” to which Jackson referred is a fast-breaking, up-tempo situation for L.A.’s guards to run (or what he called a “push situation”) that was formerly in place for the second unit. This season, Jackson has taken that aspect out of the playbook, instead leaving at least one (and often two) of the Andrew Bynum-Pau Gasol-Lamar Odom combination in with Farmar, Shannon Brown and either Kobe Bryant or Ron Artest.

It’s no coincidence that Farmar’s play has improved in connection with Odom’s return to the bench in correlation with Gasol’s return from his hamstring injury eight games ago.

Odom may well be the NBA’s best all-around bench player, and is certainly the most valuable big man coming off the pine. While Jackson’s been pleased with his defensive effort, he could use a bit more L.O. on offense.

“We’re still concerned about that he gets into and active into games offensively,” said Jackson. “He’s doing good things defensively but he has to have a presence out there offensively to help that second unit and get some scoring on his own.”

Sure enough, since Gasol came back, Odom has scored only 47 points, just under six per game, focusing instead on his passing, rebounding and defense.

Yet if Odom’s selflessness and Farmar’s limited free throw shooting are two of L.A.’s main “concerns” right now, things are clearly going quite well.

Farmar Back on “NUMB3RS” Tonight

During the previous season of CBS drama “NUMB3RS,” Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar showed off his acting chops while guest starring as himself in an episode.

Apparently, his appearance impressed the show’s producers enough to garner an invitation back for this season, in an episode entitled “Friendly Fire” that will air Friday night on CBS.

To see Farmar in (a different kind of) action, tune in at 10 p.m.

Several Lakers Gather for Wednesday Workout

Training camp is still a few weeks away for the Lakers, yet several of the players gathered in El Segundo on Wednesday afternoon to shoot, lift and play some pick up ball.

As Shannon Brown explained in the above @Lakers Twitvid, he was joined by Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic, Ron Artest, Jordan Farmar, Josh Powell and Adam Morrison in addition to some D-Leaguers (to round out a 5-on-5 run).

Prior to the full-court action, some of the players went through lifting and general strenghtening activities with Lakers Director of Athletic Performance Chip Schaefer (Walton and Brown specifically), others got some shots up (Vujacic and Farmar) while others worked with assistant coach Brian Shaw and advance scout/assistant coach Rasheed Hazzard on running L.A.’s offense (Artest and Brown).

“It’s just good to get back in here,” said Walton. “I think we’re all excited about the coming season and eager to get ready to go.”

It won’t be long, since the first preseason game is only three weeks away on October 7 against Golden State.

In the (Championship) Locker Room: Farmar

Jordan FarmarIt’s already been 15 days since the Lakers used a 99-86 drubbing of the Orlando Magic to win the franchise’s 15th NBA Championship.

A lot’s happened since then, including the NBA Draft, exit interviews, the comical premiere of “Real World Cancun” (year 22?!) and even the melancholy passing away of the King of Pop.

Thus, in case you need a memory refresher, we’ll be posting periodic videos from the immediate postgame locker room, starting with a conversation with Jordan Farmar just minutes after the final buzzer when he said this:

Growing up in L.A. watching the Lakers do this for years before I got here was special, I felt part of it as a fan,” said Farmar. “To go through so much this season, have an injury, fluctuating playing time and all types of adversity makes it all worth it. This is what we all sacrificed for from day one. I can’t even put it into words right now.

To watch the full video, CLICK HERE.