very nice read yet a long interview! It's 18 pages but I can't post it all so enjoy some parts and read the rest at the link
Jordan Farmar tells it all
(See the Los Angeles stars through the eyes of a teammate)
To say that the circumstances surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers have changed since Jordan Farmar's first stint in Purple and Gold came to a close would be like diagnosing Kobe Bryant's torn Achilles as a matter of mere foot pain.
When last we saw Jordan in his hometown team's colors, he and the Lakers were hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy after staging a stunning comeback to topple the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. Phil Jackson was still the head coach. Andrew Bynum had yet to bottom out on a bowling alley. Sasha Vujacic had yet to propose to (or split from) Maria Sharapova.
Indeed, the landscape of Lakerland has shifted dramatically over the last three years. The Zen Master retired, leaving Mike Brown, Bernie Bickerstaff and Mike D'Antoni to try their respective hands at leading the league's marquee franchise.
Bynum smacked down JJ Barea, became an All-Star, and was then traded for Dwight Howard, who subsequently bolted for the Houston Rockets. Steve Nash switched allegiances, thereby beginning a march to the trainer's table that nearly the entire team followed. At the top, the death of longtime franchise patriarch Dr. Jerry Buss has left the Lakers' hierarchy in disarray, with the leadership mantle to be split somehow between Jeanie Buss and Jim Buss.
Enter Jordan Farmar—not a savior by any stretch, but a welcome returnee nonetheless.
On a one-year, veteran's-minimum contract, no less. Talk about a hometown discount!
Now 26, Farmar has come back to LA older, wiser and stronger from stints with the then-New Jersey Nets, Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, Anadolu Efes in Turkey. Farmar was gracious enough to speak with me over the phone about his new old team, his experiences abroad, his hopes and expectations for the future, and more!
BR: Welcome back to the Lakers! How does it feel to be back?
JF: Thanks, man. It feels great! It feels great, to be honest. Being a Laker is really special. It’s meant something to me my whole life. It meant something to me early in my career as a professional, and now it’s really special and exciting to be back here.
BR: From your vantage point, how have things changed around the organization since you last wore the Purple and Gold?
JR: Things have changed a lot. You know, the only people who are still here from when I was last here are Pau and Kobe. Everybody is new faces in the locker room, the coaching staff is different. But the people in the front office and on the training staff who I’m pretty familiar with have been the settling force in there, make everything feel comfortable.
BR: What was it that drew you back to play for the Lakers, especially since you had a pretty lucrative contract overseas?
JF: I had a hell of a deal, but I wanted to be back home. I wanted to be back in the NBA, but more so than that, I wanted to be back here. I felt this was a good playing situation for me. It’s a good opportunity for me to continue to grow and learn some things from Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni, get back and play with Kobe as his career’s starting to wind down now. There’s only a couple years left for him, and I know how important winning is to him. We’ve had some great times. We have a great relationship.
I’m just trying to be around to try and help, try and help any way I can to make that happen. I know the Lakers are going to be alright. There might be tough times here and there, but Mitch [Kupchak] is a great GM and the ownership group has always been committed to winning. They’re going to make whatever moves necessary to have to do to put us in the best possible situation.
BR: What role, if any, did Kobe Bryant play in bringing you back? Did he call you at all? Was there any contact there?
JF: No, not directly, not like any recruitment. I mean, we talk. I talk to Kobe every now and then. He was the first one to call me as soon as I signed. He was like, “I’m glad you did. Welcome home.” I’ve been around it before and was part of that actual core built from that fabric of the championship teams. Just to have that chemistry and camaraderie and familiar feel back was something I was looking for and, I guess, they felt the same way.
BR: What’d you learn from him?
JF: More so his work ethic and just determination, will to win. I mean, his willpower is what separates him from the rest of the people in this business. You know, he’s very, very, very talented. His skill level’s incredible. But he just has the will to work to be the best. Right now, he’s 35 years old or whatever, he’s got a very serious injury, and he’s worked harder than anybody to try to get back just to get out there and compete because he loves it. Now, that’s the kind of stuff that you see him put in every day and it can’t help but rub off on you if you’re paying attention.
BR: What are you looking forward to most about playing again with Pau Gasol and now Steve Nash? Obviously, these guys are older, entering the latter stages of their respective careers, coming off injuries and whatnot. What is it about playing with them that appeals to you and what do you hope to gain from playing with them?
JF: It’s not very often in the NBA where you can get the opportunity to play with guys with extremely, extremely high basketball IQ. I think, in terms of longevity, in terms of playing a long time, those are the guys that do it, the guys who really, really understand the game and can help pass that knowledge along. I have a good understanding. I’ve been able to be around Phil Jackson and Kobe and play at a high level and I’ve had good coaching throughout my career, so I’ve benefited from that a lot.
But just to be around them every day, just sit with someone who’s similar in stature with me—Steve Nash and me, we’re about the same size—and for him to use his mind and his savvy to be extremely successful in this business and have an amazing, Hall of Fame career, still pick his brain every day and ask him as many questions as I can, watch the way he goes about his work. You know, things like that are what I’m looking forward to being around those guys.
BR: Is there anything in particular that you’re looking forward to picking Nash’s brain about?
JF: I mean, just to see how he thinks about the game. You know, everybody views the game differently, everybody comes from a different background, so to ask him to be around, what makes him so successful, what does he look for in situations X, Y and Z, and then how does he go about executing it.
The biggest thing with him is that he’s been extremely, extremely efficient his whole career. Just to try to get as much as I can from him, honestly. I told him as soon as I walked in there, “I’m going to be annoying you all year. I’m going to ask you questions. I’m going to be in your ear, just trying to soak it all up,” and he’s like, “That’s what I’m here for,” so I think we’ll have a great relationship and I think I’ll benefit a lot from being around him.
BR: Have you guys spoken at all about playing point guard in Mike D’Antoni’s offense?
JF: A little bit. A little bit. I mean, that’s why I’m here, is to play point guard in Mike D’Antoni’s offense. He’s getting older and to spare him some of those heavy minutes will be our job, but that’s what I’ll be talking to him about. D’Antoni is very expressive and open. He and his brother Dan do a good job communicating what they want for our team and from me specifically, and I think I won’t have too much confusion. They’re pretty cut-and-dried with what they want, so it makes it easy.
BR: What is it that the D’Antoni’s want from you?
JF: To be aggressive, to push the ball, to use the tools that I have and the experience that I have to run this team when I’m in the game. Change the game, play at a higher tempo, control the pace and make everybody comfortable and make sure that everything is running smoothly—what any point guard is really supposed to do on the floor.
BR: Do you think, then, that Lakers fans will be surprised to see the Jordan Farmar of D’Antoni’s system in comparison to the Jordan Farmar of old under Phil Jackson?
JF: I think so a lot. Not necessarily just Mike D’Antoni. Just me maturing as a man and a basketball player. I was 23 years old when I left. Now I’m 26, I’ve played in New York, I’ve played around the world, I’m a father. My life has changed a lot since that time and I’ve just matured as a man and a basketball player, so I think that overall growth from that time until now is what will be evident.
BR: What are some of the bigger similarities and differences that you’ve found between the NBA game and the international game?
JF: I think the similarity is that it’s high-level basketball, either here or there. I think the biggest difference is that over there, you don’t have the superstars. You don’t have LeBron, Kobe, Kevin Durant, you know, those kind of guys. But you have 10 guys who can really play at a high level. The ninth man off the bench can come in and contribute in and affect the game just like the starting five. Everybody’s very skilled. Everybody understands the game. They can shoot the ball. They have a very, very high skill level over there. They just don’t have the superstar players.
And then, every game over there seems like life or death. The NBA is like, you may go on a couple-game losing streak, there’s going to be injuries and things that go on throughout the season and it’s a long season. But every game over there is like huge, huge consequences based on just how you finish at the end of the season.
BR: Do you think that playing overseas in a more pick-and-roll heavy environment has prepared you at all for playing Mike D’Antoni’s spread pick-and-roll system?
JF: Absolutely. The court is smaller over there, first of all. They let you foul. It’s kind of crazy. I had to face basically double-teams and traps on all of my pick-and-roll situations, so I had to figure out how to play a lot faster, how to move without the ball and then get into a pick-and-roll situation so it wasn’t so static.
Those are the things that you and the coaching staff work together to develop in your game to make it tougher for defenses to load up on me. They wanted the ball in my hands, they wanted me making decisions, and the other team would basically try to do the opposite: trap me and live with whatever happens.
For me to have to deal with that constantly throughout a season was good for me. It was really good for my growth. It was good to learn how to use my body, use movement without the ball, playing a little higher pace. Things like that will really translate this season.
BR: What are your expectations for yourself and for this Lakers team this season?
JF: High. Both are high. I know what I’m capable of. I think I have plenty of opportunity to go out there and be successful. I think we are also very talented. We’re a lot better than people give us credit for. Only time will tell, but I think we’re going to be a good basketball team, and having a whole training camp together under Mike D’Antoni to start off on the right foot from Day 1 will help. Hopefully, we’ll have good health, which will be very important for us this season, but I think our style of play and the guys we have on board can jell well together.
BR: What’d you miss most about being a Laker while you were away?
JF: Being a Laker, just in general, is special. From everything that entails—stepping out on the court, representing that organization, wearing that jersey—to being in the community that helped raise me and being able to give back here. Just all the things that kind of come with being close to my friends and family. Living in Los Angeles with this nice weather, which is home for me originally. All of those things played a part in what I missed.
BR: How has your game and your mindset changed since the last time you were a Laker?
JF: A lot. A lot. I mean, I’ve become a much better shooter, a much better pick-and-roll player. Defensively, playing overseas, that was demanded because it’s always about wins and losses and nothing else really matters. That’s a big part of winning basketball games. I think it’s just all the way around, I’ve grown, and I’m excited to come in and contribute. Before I left to go overseas, I shot like 45 percent from three [44 percent, to be exact], 90 from the line [90.5], so I’ve had a chance to expand and grow my game, and I feel like I’m read to continue to grow.
Just the opportunity to continue to grow is big in this league, guys getting minutes and getting a chance to play and play through mistakes and play through adversity and things like that and what makes good basketball players. There are a lot of talented guys in the league.
BR: What do you see for yourself in the future in the NBA? You’re on a one-year deal here. What are you hoping to do with this one year and what do you want to do going forward?
JF: I mean, I’ll be around for a while. That’s my plan, to just go out there and be an impact player every time I step on the court, making myself a commodity. The Lakers and Los Angeles know how I feel about them in this situation moving forward. It’s not a secret that I would love to be here for a long time.
But yeah, I’m just going to go out there and play basketball, man. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a one-year deal or a five-year deal. At the end of the day, you’ve got to treat every game like it’s important. You’ve got to play, and I think that’s one thing that really helped me overseas is that everybody over there is pretty much on a one-year deal and their livelihood depends on how they play, so they come to perform every night.
Just having that mentality of knowing that it’s a big year for me will help push me through it. You know, just trying to stay as healthy as possible. Things happen throughout the season, but I’m just trying to stay as healthy as possible and contribute every time I’m on the floor.
BR: Can we expect to see your fro coming back at all this season?
JF: No, I don’t think so, man. It’s too much of a hassle. I’m getting older and I’ve got more stuff to do. I’m just going to keep it low and move on. It doesn’t grow the same way anymore either. I’ve kind of outgrown it. My hair has changed over the years.
BR: What kind of shoes will you be wearing this season?
JF: I’m signed with Nike, so I’ll probably be in a lot of Kobes. Whatever he comes out with, I’ll tell him to send me a pair of shoes. He’s my guy. I don’t think he’ll have too many problems with it.
BR: What’s the best thing for you about playing in front of those star-studded crowds at the Staples Center?
JF: The coolest thing has been, like, all the people who I’m fans of, their work and what they do, they’re fans of what we do. That’s a pretty cool phenomenon, to meet somebody and say, “Hey, I’m a big fan!” and they say, “Well, I’m a big fan, too!” You can exchange numbers and do whatever. It’s pretty cool.
CATCH THIS AND MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE IN THE FULL 18 PAGE INTERVIEW HERE!
WELL... that took a while.... Full interview is very in detail and I hope you enjoy it all at the link
Thoughts though? Seems his main focus has been his shooting defense and pick and roll game.