The Los Angeles Lakers have captured the lion’s share of NBA headlines so far this season. They added Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. They fired Mike Brown and hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson. And their record so far is a pedestrian 8-9, resulting in a steady flow of bickering and general uncertainty surrounding the team and fanbase.
This would be a difficult and daunting environment for most newcomers, but not for Antawn Jamison. The 15-year veteran has been around the league, and he’s seen it all. He knows how to adapt to and grind through less than desirable circumstances while being the consummate professional teammate.
The former Tarheel signed with the talent-heavy Lakers for the veteran’s minimum in the off-season hoping to win his first championship ring after years of toiling for average to below average squads.
The 6’9” combo forward boasted career averages of 19.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg coming into the 2012-2013 season. Having been around the block and then some, Jamison understood that joining LA meant a diminished role off the bench. In the first 12 games of the schedule, he scored just 45 points total. But with a recent ringing endorsement from coach D’Antoni and a thin Laker bench, Jamison has averaged 28.2 mpg, 16.2 ppg and 8.6 rpg over the last five contests.
Jamison has been given the green light to take threes, and he can make them. In a win against Denver on November 30th, Jamison exploded for 33 points and 12 boards, hitting 5 of 10 from behind the arc.
With a center like Howard, Jamison could be the perfect 4-man to spell Pau Gasol and give the team a different look with his ability to sink 3-point shots. While the heavy Hollywood spotlights of adulation and scrutiny fall on Kobe, Dwight, Pau and the injured Nash, look for ‘Tawn to keep filling up the box score.