A Farewell to ‘The Machine’
June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02208391 Los Angeles Lakers' Ron Artesst (R) hugs teammate Kobe Bryant (C) after defeating the Boston Celtics as teammates Sasha Vujacic of Slovenia (L) celebrates during game seven of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 June 2010. The Lakers defeated the Celtics 83-79 to win their 16th franchise championships.

If it’s all just a means to an end, Vujacic experienced the perfect end in helping seal the deal against the Celtics. Unfortunately for Vujacic, the end of the Lakers 09-10’ campaign was preceded by a disappointing season statistically, only having averaged 2.8 points per game, at roughly 40 percent shooting from the field, 31 percent beyond the arc. It was a career-low for Vujacic, perhaps a result of the injuries to his right shoulder and left ankle, but the problems seemed to carry-over from the previous season when his numbers began to take a steady plunge.

To date this season, the 6-year guard out of Maribor, Yugoslavia, is only averaging 1.8 points in about 4.9 minutes per game. The numbers aren’t exactly ideal for Vujacic, especially considering he’s in a contract year.

Although his demeanor coming into the season was up-beat, figuring he would make the most of his inconsistent playing time, he never really got the opportunity due to Brown’s impressive start. He played in only 12 of the Lakers’ 25 games, his biggest splash of the young season coming when he announced his engagement to tennis superstar Maria Sharapova.

“It’s terrible. I’m 26-years old. I played a few years [consistently] and the last couple years, playing on and off, it was just killing me,” Vujacic said after Tuesday’s win over the Washington Wizards.

The move to New Jersey could provide Vujacic with the consistent playing time he desires, even though it means having to turn in his purple and gold for navy, red and silver.

“I don’t know what to say right now,” he said before turning his focus toward the Nets. “They’re a young team. They’re rebuilding their franchise and they’re going to be interesting.”

Next: How will Vujacic be remembered?

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