Even though the 2021-22 season is only a little more than a month away, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to build out their roster.
After being waived by the Detroit Pistons, DeAndre Jordan signed with the Lakers on a one-year deal, shoring up their big man rotation in the process. Jordan comes back to L.A. to reprise his role as a shotblocker, rim protecter and roller and he expressed how excited he was to be donning Purple and Gold.
Jordan spent the past two seasons with the powerhouse Brooklyn Nets, but the team surprisingly felt it was time to move on from the center even though he was only halfway through his original four-year deal. Jordan explained how the circumstances played out but reiterated his focus on being a Laker.
“I think it was just both parties wanted to figure out something that was best for both of us and I feel like they gave me that respect as a veteran player to be able to understand that I wanted to be able to compete,” Jordan said.
“I’m a competitor, man. We all are in this league and we want to be able to be out there and competing, but also it just worked better for both of us. I’m excited to be a part of this Laker franchise and this organization with these group of guys. I’m focused on here.”
Just like the Lakers, the Nets were able to sign several high-level veterans to complement their “Big 3” and it looked like Jordan would end up being the odd man out. Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge all can soak up the center minutes and the way Brooklyn likes to space the floor meant that Jordan would not receive many minutes, if at all.
Jordan has more of an opportunity to play under head coach Frank Vogel, who traditionally likes to keep two big men on the floor. Couple that with Anthony Davis’s preference to play power forward and it is easy to see a path toward playing time for the former Nets big man.
DeAndre Jordan remains close with Nets teammates
Even though Jordan was traded away, he harbors no ill feelings towards the Nets. In fact, he revealed that he is still close with his former teammates and that their friendship will be bigger than basketball.
“We’re definitely not friends anymore (laughs),” Jordan quipped. “No, I’m just joking. We’re friends before basketball, after basketball and I think ultimately we all just want to be happy. And being able to compete is something that is very important to me. They understand that and we’re brothers beyond basketball.
“So us being teammates or not, isn’t gonna reflect or affect our relationship. I did have a great time in Brooklyn the two years that I was there, being able to experience that culture in New York, my family being able to experience that culture in New York and being able to live in that city and play for that team was awesome. I have a ton of memories for the two years that I was there and I won’t forget those but I’m definitely excited to start this next chapter.”
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