It’s also important to point out the trade for Joe Smith was purely financial. The Lakers didn’t go to the Nets to try and pry Smith from their hands, but the opportunity to unload money off the books was just too good to pass up.
As we bid adieu to Vujacic and welcome in veteran power forward Joe Smith, I can’t help but wonder how he’ll be remembered by Lakers fans. Some will remember how he sat beaming in the press room after his Game 3 performance in the 08’ Finals. Others will only reflect on how he miserably failed to contain Ray Allen’s hot shooting in Game 4, when the Lakers fell to the Celtics after being up by as many as 24 points. Perhaps he’ll be remembered for his pesky defense, which was so effective when it didn’t cause him to commit tick-tack fouls.
Then of course there’s his tendency to be high strung in the most inopportune moments. His spat with Brian Shaw causing Phil Jackson to give him an extended stay in the dog house, his ill-timed feud with Goran Dragic during the Conference Finals against the Suns and who could forget his knack for communicating his grievances with the referees.
Whatever memories you choose to file under Vujacic in the Lakers memory bank, one thing is for certain—his aesthetic contributions to the team will surely be missed by many female Lakers fans. My condolences to the Vuja-chicks, but at least they’ll get one more chance to see him when the Nets visit the Lakers at Staples on January 14th.