Los Angeles Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka made sure to address the shooting needs in free agency after trading for Russell Westbrook. The Lakers were able to sign several veteran players to one-year deals, with a surprising one being Kent Bazemore.
Bazemore reportedly turned down more years and money from other teams in order to make his return to Los Angeles, and is already looking forward to shoring up the defense as one of the few 3-and-D wings on the roster.
Although Bazemore looks to be in line for a major role, head coach Frank Vogel has already expressed that everyone will need to earn their minutes and the swingman said he is looking forward to the challenge. “It’s a grind,” Bazemore said. “In this league where the talent is so abundant, you got to earn it, you got to earn your minutes. That’s one of the first things I got from Coach Vogel. He’s a fair man and nothing is given. He’s a defense-first coach so he wears the hard hat, blue-collar, so it’s nothing that’s ‘here, it’s yours.’ And he said it on the phone, to earn your minutes and that’s just how I like it.
“Iron sharpens iron. We’re gonna be as good as the weakest link, you’re only as good as your weakest link and we don’t have any of those here, but we’re gonna push each other every day to be the best we can and when we’re playing against someone in another uniform, we’re gonna do out best to take it to them. So I’m looking forward to the everyday grind of the matchups or whatever it is, just guys trying to jockey for position to play in the Purple and Gold.”
Los Angeles currently has 12 players on the roster and there is a legitimate case for all of them to see the floor. In-house competition always brings out the best in players, so it will be interesting to see how Bazemore performs once training camp begins.
Bazemore talks up Russell Westbrook, young players on roster
The talk of the town in Los Angeles has been the acquisition of Westbrook who surely raises the talent level and energy in the building. Bazemore revealed he has always admired Westbrook’s mentality but he also made sure to shout out the young players on the roster who should help throughout the year.
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