D.J. Augustin has reunited with former teammates and coaches upon joining the Los Angeles Lakers, potentially aiding the veteran guard’s acclimatization in L.A.
Augustin signed for the Lakers earlier last week after agreeing to have his contract bought out by the Houston Rockets. L.A. will be the 11th team the 34-year-old guard has played for in his career.
Among his previous stops, Augustin shared the court with Russell Westbrook on the Oklahoma City Thunder between 2015-2016. He also played under now-Lakers head coach Frank Vogel for the Indiana Pacers in 2012-12 and the Orlando Magic between 2016-2018.
Augustin says he’s familiar with Vogel’s system, known to include some intricate schemes — particularly on defense.
“I’ve played for Frank before, so I know what he kind of expects on offense and defense,” he said. “It’s gonna be different playing with guys like LeBron, I played with Westbrook before in OKC, so I’m familiar with him, but just trying to fit in and just play the game I always play.”
Augustin added he developed a meaningful relationship with Vogel and his family during his time in Orlando. But he revealed they didn’t discuss the guard’s arrival in L.A. before he was en route to California.
“Personally, it was great to see a familiar face,” he said. “I played for him two times in Indiana and Orlando, so that was good. Our families know each other. And then No. 2, everything happened so fast, I got the call on Monday and I was out of Houston on Tuesday to come here.
“So it just happened so fast, I didn’t get a chance to speak with him before, he texted me on my way here and that’s all pretty much. But just to see him and even some of the assistants I played for as well, so it’s been great.”
Also, Augustin said he was “excited” to reunite with Westbrook and provide him with support in the Lakers’ backcourt.
“I love Russ, man,” he said. “We played together in OKC, great guy, great basketball player. We’ve been in touch ever since then and just seeing him, another familiar face I was excited to see, and just kind of picked up where we left off in OKC.
“Just trying to help with him and this team, whatever I can do, whatever he needs me to do, I’ll do.”
Augustin: opportunity to play for Lakers ‘doesn’t come around often’
Augustin said he was thrilled to sign with L.A., as not everyone has the “special” opportunity to join a franchise like the Lakers.
“Just excited No. 1,” Augustin said. “No. 2, just to be a part of this franchise and have this opportunity to play with this group of guys and actually play for something is something that doesn’t come around often.
“I’ve been in the league 14 years and something like this is really special in my eyes at this point of my career. So I’m super excited.”
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