D.J. Augustin’s short stint with the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t go as planned with L.A. failing to qualify for the Play-In Tournament.
Augustin added extra 3-point shooting to the Lakers roster, making 42.6% of his triples in the 21 games he played for L.A. The 34-year-old averaged 5.3 points and 1.6 assists during his time with the Purple and Gold.
Despite having little time to settle in, Augustin said he tried to make the most of the opportunity to represent the Lakers. And although they ended the season without playoff basketball, he will still look back at his time in L.A. with fondness.
“For me, coming in I heard the noise before I got here but my only job was to come here and try and help make the best of the situation and try to fit in,” Augustin said. “That’s what I tried to do for the month that I was here. It’s not a long time so I didn’t have a lot of time to really do a whole lot but when I was here, I just tried to make the best of it, help the guys on and off the court, and just tried to reach our goal. We came up short but everybody was great, everybody had a great attitude and things like this happen.
“I know it’s not normal for the Lakers organization but I know from my experience when I look back on this, I’m glad I made the decision to come here no matter what happened.”
Augustin added he felt welcomed by the Lakers and praised the camaraderie within the team, highlighting the chance to play with NBA veterans Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore. The guard commended Ellington and Bazemore for their professionalism despite limited playing opportunities.
“That’s one thing I can definitely say about this team, the group of guys that we had were great guys,” Augustin said.
“You mentioned two of my favorite guys right there in Wayne and Baze, I’ve been in the league with those guys and played against them for the longest time and they definitely can still play at a high level. That’s just part of being in the NBA, there’s gonna be times where you’re on teams where you don’t get the same opportunities.
“Their opportunities were limited here, but at the same time, they came with a great attitude every day, they picked their teammates up every day during games and practices. That’s what a lot of fans don’t know, a lot of people on the outside don’t know how hard it is for a guy who can still play and knows he can still play at a high level but has to put his pride aside to help his teammates and cheer his teammates on a daily basis.
“That’s a hard thing to do so those guys were great, the whole team was great. We had a lot of guys like that on this team.”
Dwight Howard ‘grateful’ for opportunity to return to Lakers
During his exit interview, Dwight Howard focused on what he could have done to help L.A. have a better 2021-22 season. But despite the disappointment of the past months, Howard said he appreciated the opportunity to play for the Lakers again.
“Obviously, I personally still feel like I can do more and bring more just given the opportunity, but I’m grateful having that opportunity to come here and play,” the center said.
“I know it didn’t end the way we all hoped for and expected it to, but looking back on this season there’s a lot to be very thankful for. … I think the future of this team will be a lot better after considering the disappointing season that we had this year.”
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