Jordan Farmar has emerged as one of the best young point guards in the NBA. His quickness, toughness, and work ethics have made him a fan favorite. He is a true Angelino and I am proud to see him wearing the legendary Purple and Gold.

Growing up in Woodland Hills as a young man, Jordan Farmar could not have predicted the road his life has gone down.

Farmar started his high school career at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, before transferring to Taft in Woodland Hills. At Taft, he came into his own as a basketball player, playing tenacious defense as well as an uncanny ability to make everyone on the court better, Farmar got noticed by a number of college coaches. He scored a school record 54 points in a game, and averaged 27.5 points and 6.5 assists per game to lead Taft to their first ever L.A. City Title.

Jordan decided to remain in Los Angeles for college, and chose UCLA, led by Ben Howland. His freshman year, he won the Pac 10 Freshman of the Year. Jordan’s Sophomore year was quite outstanding. He was one of the best Point Guards in the country as he led a dark horse UCLA team all the way to the National Championship Game, where they would fall just short of the school’s 12th Men’s Basketball National Championship.

Jordan shocked a lot of people on April 20, 2006 when he announced that he was going to forgo his last 2 years of college, and declare for the NBA Draft. Scouts did not expect much out of the undersized 6‘2” guard. What happened next, couldn’t have been predicted, Farmar proved to be one of the best athletes in the entire draft. His vertical leap of 42 inches, was the highest of any player at the pre-draft combine.

Still, team after team passed on him. Personally, I was happy, being the big UCLA fan that I am, I was hoping and praying that he would fall all the way to the Lakers. And, he did. I can still remember Commissioner David Stern saying, “With the 26th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select, Jordan Farmar out of UCLA.” I literally jumped out of my chair. I knew Jordan would make an impact eventually, but I never could have predicted how big of an impact he really would make.

His rookie year, Jordan spent most of season on the bench as the back-up to then Lakers starter Smush Parker. Jordan struggled a bit. Using Tex Winter’s triangle system was quite a bit different than the grind it out defensive minded tactics of Ben Howland at UCLA. Jordan was struggling so much, he was sent down to the Lakers minor league club, the L.A. Defenders. There, he got playing time and his confidence began to grow. On April 1st 2007, he became the first player in history to play a game in the D-League, and the NBA in the same day.

With 2 games left in the season, Phil Jackson benched Smush, and Jordan Farmar became the starter. This was somewhat unexpected, as Phil has never been the kind of coach to play rookies. Jordan went on to start 2 games in the regular season, and started all 5 games in the playoffs vs. Steve Nash and the Suns. Jordan Farmar’s performance showed that he was a keeper, and that he was only going to get better.

In the summer of 2007, the Lakers signed Derek Fisher, and drafted Javaris Crittenton. With two more point guards, some like myself wondered how that would effect the young Farmar’s confidence. Instead of crumbling, he worked that much harder, and has become arguably one of the best young Point Guards in the NBA.

Jordan’s energy is extremely well needed as he is one of the spark plugs on the Lakers’ bench. His maximum effort is seen every single time he laces them up. This past Sunday, in an OT game versus the Mavericks, in a playoff atmosphere, Jordan, and not veteran and starting PG Derek Fisher, was in the game as it hung in the balance. That is the kind of confidence that not only Phil Jackson has in him, but the rest of the Lakers as well.

His success this year, could not have been predicted. You could make the argument that he was the MVP of the Rookie – Sophomore Game in New Orleans, as he led the Sophomores to victory. This season, Jordan is averaging 9.6 PPG, 2.7 APG, and 1 SPG, in just over 21 minutes per contest.

Jordan Farmar is a Los Angeles native. He could never have predicted being the L.A. Times Player of the year his senior year of high school, or going to UCLA, having a great short career there, to being drafted by his hometown Lakers. He is certainly living the dream, and I am extremely proud of him.

To win the LA City Title, go on to UCLA, reach the Final 4, and get drafted by the Lakers, that is the life that a lot of Los Angeles kids, yours truly included, can only dream of. His future is indeed bright, and I can’t wait to see how good of a player this young man matures in to.

Some say he is the next Tony Parker. I disagree. I truly and honestly believe he can be better.

The Cougar is a TLN Staff contributor, you can contact him at TheCougar@theLakersNation.com.

  • dcb2069

    jordan and arron lived in my building when we were all freshmen there, so i got to know them a little bit. hes a really cool guy, which was one reason why i became such a big fan of his. i honestly thought that when he left after his sophomore year, he had some serious holes in his game, so i was sorta shocked when the lakers picked him up (and sorta mad). in hindsight, they had smush as a pg, so yeah. ill also be honest and say that i didn’t think he would improve this rapidly over such a short period of time. but i think a lot of that had to do with mitch selecting javaris in the first round. good for mitch. good for jordan, too.

  • True Lakers Fan

    nice article on Jordan he is a true laker after Fisher retires he will be a STAR point gaurd and yes he will be better than Parker because he can do both driving into the lane and hitting the three

  • TheLAunit

    I got to play against him at Venice HS and he ran around our D like we was nothing. but I scored 19pt, with like 4 assist. Oh and we lost by 15

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    Jordan’s energy is extremely well needed as he is one of the spark plugs on the Lakers’ bench. His maximum effort is seen every single time he laces them up. This past Sunday, in an OT game versus the Mavericks, in a playoff atmosphere, Jordan, and *NOW* veteran and starting PG Derek Fisher, was in the game as it hung in the balance. That is the kind of confidence that not only Phil Jackson has in him, but the rest of the Lakers as well.

    please edit the above spelling error, thanks! :-D

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    oops! n/m! :-D

  • dezmond

    Thats my high school——-T-HOUSEEEEEEEEEEEE

  • Kobe4Life

    Very nice article, im the same way, die hard laker and UCLA fan. I was absolutely estatic when the lakers picked him…oh and My High school, riverside King, is going to upset His old school taft tonight in the semi’s of the sate champioships.

  • mplakers

    silly billy kupcheck

    you’re a deuchebag.

  • http://myspace.com/hzm hZm

    I went to High School with Jordan. (Taft)

    Kid was always talented, no doubt. Personally, I didn’t know the kid could get up high enough to dunk seriously slam it until I heard about his 42 inch vert. I have no idea where that came from.

  • http://myspace.com/hzm hZm

    [Comment ID #28653 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Haha oh nice! You’re a current student?

  • kelvlam

    nice writeup on Farmar. I really like him, a lot more than smush. Now that he’s under the wing of Fish, I think he can grow and learn just as much! Much like when Fisher take Deron Williams under his wing~~~

  • Revgen

    “Holes in his game” should not affect how a team chooses a PG. The most important talent of a PG is leadership. No PG in the NCAA led his team like Farmar did for UCLA. All other skills and holes can be worked on and improved by the team that drafts the player. Natural leadership cannot be taught, it’s something you either have or you don’t. Jordan has it in spades.

  • Swiggle

    I think it’s safe to say that Jordan is definitely living many of our dreams. I know it’s safe to say it for me. Can you ask for more than to play for UCLA and then the Lakers?? Incredible. I really hope that he, Ronny, Andrew, and Ariza remain Lakers for life!!

    P.S. That picture of him on this article needs to be fixed. It looks too much like he’s wearing USC colors.

  • http://myspace.com/hzm hZm

    [Comment ID #28669 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Taft colors are basically USC colors.

  • xtro

    Farmar is a native son. He is a keeper. He is a Laker. Now, let’s go and get the trophy! We ain’t losing no more!!!

  • xxv112002

    Damn, I remember Jordy back when he was in Elementary. I used to play ball with his cousin and friends. He would always be there but we couldn’t let him play cos he was too short. We were all in junior high back then and he was in elem. I remember shooting half court shots with him. Haha the way he shoots, still the same. Eventually we got sick of playing in elementary school court and we ended up playing in YMCA with coach. And Jordy soon followed. That’s where it all started for him.

  • ifkobedoesntwinmvpthenbaisrigged

    i remember when me and jfarm grew up in pre-school and i used to throw sand in his ears. and he would go ball up my brother who was in the 5th grade at the time…ahh the wonder years…lol jkjk..but seriously this kid is forreal. he has really matured..go lakers!!

  • billy kupchak licks scrotum

    stop being a biaaatch jordan is the $hit

  • dcb2069

    [Comment ID #28667 Will Be Quoted Here]

    seriously? you’d pick a pg in the first round who averaged 7ppg, 5asg, 2 rpg, so long as he was a good leader? im not saying that’s jordan’s numbers (cuz they’re not), but just because you have leadership skills does not mean that a team can overlook other flaws in your game. do you remember khalid el-amin? mateen cleaves? leaders of their college teams. please enlighten me and tell me where they are today.

    leadership skills in college does not always translate into leadership skills in the nba. same way college coaching success does not carry over to the nba, and vice versa. not everything can be “taught” just like that. shaq still cant shoot free throws for the life of him and kwame will still cant make a layup, and im fairly confident they both have had their fair share of work put into it (the argument is much better for shaq than kwame).

    this is not a knock on jordan in any way. i love the guy and felt that he had enough in him to be a legit pg, maybe even elite. just not after his sophomore year. i still thought he could have worked on his game his junior year and improved his draft stock. he was a bit inconsistent at times with his shooting, etc. i understand why he left–it was a weak pg draft that year. so im not faulting him. but teams wont draft you just because you have an intangible like leadership skills. i agree with your take on leadership skills–they’re crucial for pg success in the league. but not everyone can just be ‘taught’ everything else. this isnt the matrix.

    this is along the same argument made for trading for jason kidd. the guy can’t shoot to save his life, and he gets crushed by the chris pauls and tony parkers. my point is this: is dallas a better team with kidd or harris? kidd’s leadership might not mean squat to me if you’re a liability as a shooter and defender. leadership didn’t mean anything to avery johnson when he pulled jason kidd out for the final play last week because he cant shoot. i understand he’s old and used to be a monster, but it still shows my point to an extent.

    jordan farmar just happens to be the exception, which if anything, speaks to how good of a player he is.

  • lakertime

    i’ve come around on farmar and have grown to like him. but to say he could be better then TP is pretty ridiculous. He may be as quick, but hes not nearly as good at getting to the rim, and i dont know that anyone is as good as Parker as finishing. Farmar shoots the 3 way better, but when its not going for him, his offensive production is nearly 0. look at the last couple games where the bench has been struggling, Farmar hasn’t been able to do anything.

  • CV_Lex7

    i think he should learn from steve nash once he retires. cause i think his playing style is more like steve nash. jz like deron williams learned from stockhom.

  • KObe24

    I LOVE JORDAN FARMAR HES GONNA HAVE A GREAT CAREER,

    WELL EVEN IF HE DOSENT ATLEAST HE GONNA BE BETTER THAN SMUSH “VALET PARKING” PARKER

  • http://swishtheball.net kenny smith

    [Comment ID #28669 Will Be Quoted Here]Jordan will be a good leader for the future. he wwill also lead the future laker starting lineup, With sasha, ariza, ronny, and bynum. say we get another point guard in 2013, he will learn a lot from jordan

  • http://thelakersnation.com Ed

    The Lakers continue to monitor their injured players, receiving positive updates (Chris Mihm), negative ones (Trevor Ariza), and some that are in between (Andrew Bynum).

    Bynum is still jogging in a swimming pool and also working out on an elliptical machine, but he has not tested his injured left knee on a treadmill, though that could come next week, a team source said.

    The Lakers do not have an updated target date for his return, but Bynum is out until at least early April. He has missed 25 games so far because of a deep bone bruise in the knee and a brief dislocation in the kneecap.

    Ariza hoped to get out of a walking boot earlier this week, but the broken bone in his right foot hadn’t healed enough, a reality that Coach Phil Jackson called “a disappointment for us.”

    A key member of the second unit after being acquired from Orlando, Ariza probably will not return before the end of the regular season, four weeks beyond the original forecast for his return. (The Lakers’ last game of the regular season is April 15.) He has missed 23 games since sustaining the injury in a Jan. 20 practice.

    Backup center Mihm has begun jogging on the court less than three weeks after having a screw removed from his surgically repaired right heel. He hoped to be back in time to play in April, which would be about right for the original six-week timetable.

    “There was a tension and a painful pressure in the back of my heel, but it hasn’t been there since that screw was removed,” Mihm said. “I’m doing stuff already that was driving me up a wall four or six weeks ago.”

    There’s also that other injured guy, the one who keeps playing.

    Kobe Bryant hasn’t missed any games because of a torn ligament in his right pinkie, but that doesn’t stop him from calling it the “most aggravating” injury he has ever had.

    He is constantly reminded of it, whether the pinkie gets smacked in a game or caught while buttoning a shirt at home. “Every day,” he said. “But you get used to it. When it’s painful, you just know that it can’t get any worse. It’s just pain and it’ll go away after a minute or so.”

    Bryant has been on a tear lately, averaging 39.7 points and shooting a respectable 48.1% in his last three games. He also has developed a strategy when his finger gets hit during games. “I’ll keep my hand out of a play or two and I’ll kind of move my fingers around, try to just kind of wait for the pain to subside a little bit,” he said.

    Oh yeah, the Clippers.

    The Lakers have had other things on their minds — namely the top teams in the Western Conference — but they could achieve a small feat tonight in a designated home game against their friends down the hallway at Staples Center.

    The Lakers were 31-5 against the Clippers from 1995-2004, but managed to only tie the season series the last three seasons. With a 2-0 edge in 2007-08, the Lakers could make the season series theirs tonight, even though they seem more concerned about the bigger picture.

    “I’m even surprised you asked that question,” forward Lamar Odom said. “We’re trying to fight to stay on top of the Western Conference. The ‘Battle of L.A.’ will come second to that. We’re trying to play for a playoff position, and position ourselves for home-court advantage.”

    The Clippers (20-39) have endured an entire season without Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston. Their record has suffered, as have any playoff hopes.

    “We had the injury bug last year. This year, it seems to be on their shoulders,” Jackson said.

    CLIPPERS-LAKERS TONIGHT

    7:30, FSN West, Ch. 5

    Site — Staples Center.

    Radio — 570; 1330; 710.

    Records — Lakers 43-18; Clippers 20-39.

    Record vs. Clippers — 2-0.

    Update — The Lakers emerged from a close first half to beat the Clippers, 113-95, on Feb. 23. Lamar Odom had 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers also beat the Clippers in December, 113-92, with Kobe Bryant scoring 32 points on 11-for-22 shooting.

  • Mr. B-DAY

    so i hear rumors of the FARMAR for MARKO JARIC trade? hmmm?

    *wink wink*

    sounds like a great trade for me ;)

  • bryan

    I remember when me and Jordan were in pre-school together. He was always good at hide and seek. Must be those ears..

    ;)

  • 187 ON BOSTON

    I REMEMBER WHEN ME AND JORDAN WERE IN JR.HIGH TOGETHER WE USED TO BLOW BLUNTS AND PIMP HOE’S. MAN THOSE WERE GOOD TIMES.HAHAHAHAHAHA J.K NEVER MET HIM BUT HE IS A HELL OF A PLAYER AND I AM VERY GLAD TO SEE HIM EXELL SO MUCH THIS SEASON…………..

  • goofella

    DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHY WE PLAY THE HOUSTON ROCKETS ONLY 3 TIMES THIS SEASON????

  • Jack

    I don’t know about better than Tony Parker. But even if he falls a feet shy of Tony’s talent, Farmer and the Lakers will big the trophy. Man we should think real. Parker is probably only 2-4 years older than Farmer. He has given migranes to lots of coaches in the league. As much as I love Farmer, does anyone truely imagine a picture where he is a starter? well, may be not until quite a while I guess.

    I love Farmer, but would apreciate him even more when he proves (big time). I want to hear people talking about his talent, not a part of Lakers bench.

  • dcb2069

    jack, i agree. its a lot different having to play 40+ minutes a game as opposed to 20. personally, i think jordan can do it–i think his worst enemy is going to be those young player mistakes, like stupid fouls or ill advised shots. when he starts in the future, i expect to see these mistakes. i dont expect to see them long though–he has a pretty good learning curve. simply put, he is our pg of the future. HOPEFULLY, he grows more, and we can talk about him in the same breath as the chris pauls and deron williams.

    as for parker, i wouldn’t say better. thats pure speculation. parker has proven himself on the big stage. hes a finals mvp. no disrespect to jordan, but he hasn’t shown that hes there yet. not ruling it out, but tony’s a pretty special player. he gets into the lane at will. farmar doesnt quite do that, though hes probably a better traditional pg, as well we a better shooter. this is gonna be a fun matchup in the upcoming years.