So far, veteran center DeAndre Jordan has said all the right things since signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jordan joined the Lakers after being traded by the Brooklyn Nets and bought out by the Detroit Pistons and solidifies the front court rotation. Despite being well past his prime, Jordan offers size, rim protection and is a lob threat off the pick-and-roll, attributes that should earn him a role when Los Angeles decides to play bigger.
The center has already acknowledged that his playing time will likely be dictated by matchups, but he reiterated he is only interested in winning.
“Yeah, I think that’s the blessing,” Jordan said after Saturday’s practice. “I’m just having a lot of different lineups that you can use and I think that each game is going to have a say on what we do. We could be rolling with a huge lineup and we’ll win with that. And some games may need us to go small and I think that at this point of my career, of all of our careers, at the end of the day, ultimately, we just want to be able to win and be able to achieve something as a collective.
“That’s all I’m worried about. Obviously last year in Brooklyn there was times at the end of the season where I didn’t play, we went small and things like that and I handled it like a pro and I’m expecting to do the same thing here. I’m going in and I’m gonna compete every day and we’ll see.”
Jordan also acknowledged that he can no longer play as many minutes as he did earlier in his career but still believes he can contribute to winning.
“Father Time is undefeated…At the end of the day, I’ve been in a position before where I’m being expected to play 38 minutes-plus a night. So I’ve seen that, I’ve done that. And as your career goes on, your body changes, your role changes and I’m fine with that. It’s happened to a ton of different players and they’ve still been able to accept the new role and be successful in that role. And I feel throughout my career, I’ve been a role guy. But if that changes it a little bit, that’s fine. I’m still gonna be a team-first guy.”
Even though there are going to be several nights where Jordan does not see the floor, it sounds as though he is at peace with that and that only speaks to the selflessness and mindset of the roster.
Frank Vogel praises DeAndre Jordan’s attitude so far
Having a veteran like Jordan who understands his role makes head coach Frank Vogel’s life easier and he made sure to praise the big man for being a team-first guy. “Everybody on this team knows coming into this group that whatever needs to happen for our team to win a championship, they have to be bought into that,” Vogel said.
“That’s a requirement for playing for the L.A. Lakers. Sometimes that does mean not playing. Everybody understands that. DJ has been nothing but a first-class attitude for everything that we’re trying to do. I think he’s on board with everybody else. Whatever the team needs, that’s what they’ll be on board with.”
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