After the disappointing series loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs last season, one of the biggest problems for the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the off-season was the play off the bench. The point guard position was still a major issue with Ramon Sessions not exactly cutting it, but the bench was by no means good enough to help this team contend with the best of the best in the Western Conference moving forward.
With that being said, the Lakers’ front office addressed the problem over the summer by signing Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks and re-signing Jordan Hill. These three moves alone were enough to convince GM Mitch Kupchak that the bench had been upgraded considerably, but Jamison may have not made his decision to sign with Los Angeles without Lakers Coach Mike Brown’s presence helping him make the move according to Elliot Teaford of Los Angeles Daily News:
“He was one of the reasons I wanted to come here,” Jamison said.
“He” was not superstar guard Kobe Bryant, although it could have been just as easily the reason Jamison signed. Nor was it future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash. Nor was it center Dwight Howard. Nor was it Pau Gasol. Nor was it Metta World Peace.
No, Jamison referred to Lakers coach Mike Brown.
Even though Jamison only played a total of 36 games under Brown with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2010, the short stint playing for the former NBA Coach of the Year left a lasting impression that ultimately led him to sign with the Lakers.
Along with playing for a familiar face in Los Angeles, Jamison was also lured to the Lakers for a chance to play for a perennial NBA title contender and with former teammate Steve Nash.
With Jamison winning the Sixth Man of the Year award while playing alongside Nash with the Dallas Mavericks back in 2004, the veteran forward was likely drooling at the prospect of many open shots and the chance to be the main man off the bench for the Lakers during the 2012-13 NBA season.
After three straight losses in the preseason, the Lakers bench may still need work. Jamison is one of the few bright spots for the Lakers off the bench along with rookie Robert Sacre, but this team is by no means intimidating with the second unit on the floor. With five more preseason games to go before the start of the regular season on Oct. 30, it will be interesting to see if Brown can find the right rotation off the bench.