L.A. Times: Ronny Turiaf, the energetic face of the Lakers’ reserves in seasons past, walked into a different locker room on Sunday, the one that’s 100 feet down the hall from his old one at Staples Center.
He is in his first season with Golden State after signing a four-year, $17-million contract during the off-season, increasing his annual salary by more than five times what he made with the Lakers last season. But he still misses his old locker room, and its inhabitants.
“I talk to them on a daily basis,” he said. “I know for a fact they miss me too.”
Turiaf, 25, was the main name to leave the Lakers last summer, signing an offer sheet with the Warriors that was not matched by the Lakers, who eventually chose instead to sign Sasha Vujacic to a three-year, $15-million contract.
With Andrew Bynum coming back from injury, the Lakers didn’t think Turiaf would get much playing time in a frontcourt that also included Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
Turiaf came into Sunday’s game averaging 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and a notable 2.2 blocked shots a game, fourth in the league. Last season, he led the Lakers in an immeasurable category.
“We liked the energy,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “It’s like a radiator out there, just giving off all this great energy and this light, and getting off the bench and creating stuff — laughable stuff, humorous stuff. And that was Ronny’s energy. We miss that because that’s infectious.”