While most look to superstars to win their team a championship, the fact is that it is often role players who make the big plays that put their team into basketball lore. Lakers’ fans can attest to this as we have seen unsung heroes such as Derek Fisher, Robert Horry and Brian Shaw all make major plays necessary in bringing the Larry O’ Brien trophy to Los Angeles.
Who better than the tough, gritty, championship hungry Matt Barnes to be this June’s unexpected hero? Barnes has gotten a taste of the playoffs with other teams, but has never had the opportunity presented to him like he will this season. Whether he takes advantage or not remains to be seen.
One thing is certain though, Barnes will do whatever it takes to win a championship – regardless if his contributions show up in the stat book or not. Barnes has been sorely missed over recent months, and he seems to be an essential piece to the Lakers’ championship puzzle.
So while teams across the NBA scrambled to find that final player to put them over the hump, Mitch Kupchak stood pat. Likely because he knows that the energy and spark the Lakers need has been chomping at the bit to return.