L.A. Times: Trevor Ariza is a tough guy to slow down, but it happened Tuesday, during the first moments of our chat, when I told him what I thought about him before he became a Laker.
I thought five years ago, when he left UCLA after just one season there, it was too early, he was not ready, and we would never hear from him again. I thought when he played for three coaches in New York, then became stuck on the bench in Orlando, he would soon disappear altogether. He was traded here for good guys Brian Cook and Maurice Evans. He was averaging 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds. I thought he was a bust.
Ariza stared at me a second, smiled wide, and patted me on the back.
“Thank you,” he said.
“Everybody thought that,” he said. “Somebody has finally admitted it.”
Quick, name the signature play of the season.
A Laker chases a ball from midcourt to baseline, leaps ahead of his opponent to save it from going out of bounds, and swats it to a teammate for a layup that becomes a three-point play?