It was all smiles at the Los Angeles Lakers’ annual Media Day as the organization put together a roster capable of competing for another championship in the 2021-22 season.
One challenge that Frank Vogel spoke about though is finding minutes for all his players as L.A. has 13 rotation-caliber players that have NBA experience.
Vogel has yet to reveal his starting lineup, although all signs are pointing towards Anthony Davis starting at center. With Russell Westbrook and LeBron also starting, that leaves two spots up for grabs in training camp.
One player competing for a starting backcourt spot will be Malik Monk, who signed a one–year deal with the Lakers after a career season with the Charlotte Hornets.
While Monk is certainly good enough to start, he is not concerned about that right now, even revealing it’s not a conversation he’s had with Vogel.
“Oh no we haven’t. We haven’t talked about anything about that yet,” Monk said. “I think we’re just all gonna compete. I’m here, I don’t care if I start or come off to bench. I’m just here to be the best Malik I could be for the Lakers.”
This attitude seems to be resonating all throughout the locker room as everyone has preached unselfishness in order for the Lakers to win a championship.
As far as what he brings to the table though, Monk believes his 3-point shooting and ability to get to the rim are two areas he should be able to excel in.
“Actually just spacing the floor because like you said, they’re superstars and they need space and with my shooting ability and me able to get to the rim, it opens the floor up for everybody, not just myself. So I think them two are going to be the biggest things I bring to the table.”
Monk is looking forward to the looks he’s going to get playing alongside stars like James, Westbrook and Davis.
“Yeah, definitely. I think I’ll get way more open shots. Not rushed, just a lot of open, good looks because all of these guys are great and they’re not selfish too as well. So I’ll be ready to knock the shots down.”
Monk will likely come off the bench for the Lakers, filling the same role he did in Charlotte as instant offense on the second unit. That is still very valuable though and given that he is one of the only young players on the team, he should see a ton of minutes to help L.A. get through the regular season.
Monk ‘in awe’ walking into Lakers practice facility
Playing on a historic organization like the Lakers alongside three of the biggest stars in the NBA has to be a dream come true for a 23-year-old, and that is not lost on Monk.
“I’m in awe every time I walk into the building,” he said, “I’m in awe when I see all the names that’s hung in these rafters and all the things. Every time I walk in here, I’m in awe. So yes, sir.”
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