When it was first announced that Antawan Jamison was coming to Los Angeles, a lot of fans were excited, and with good reason. In his previous stints in Golden State (1998-2003), Dallas (03-04), Washington (04-09, 09-10), and Cleveland (09-10, 10-12), he was a solid, veteran leader who remainded professional, even in some losing situations. His coming to the Lakers franchise meant that they would have a go-to scorer off the bench who could average between 15-17 points/game.
Jamison, in his previous 14 seasons, has posted averages of 19 points and 5 rebounds per game. However, so far this season, he has had quite the struggle getting adjusted to his new teammates and, ironically enough, the Princeton offense, a system he flourished in during his stay in Washington.
“I know the spots I need to be at, but you can’t just have one guy that knows where to be. You have to be on a string offensively.”
While fans and critics have been hard on him, they haven’t been the toughest so far:
“It’s my kids, my mom,” Jamison said. “The coaches, they know what they want me to do. Coach has tried to get me on the box a little bit more in the past game or two. It’s going to take time.”
This season, Jamison has averaged 4/4 in just over 16 minutes per game. This isn’t the production that everyone was hoping for, but Jamison has remained level-headed about the slow start.
“You know, I’ve been hearing it. ‘You gotta be aggressive. You gotta be aggressive,’ but I’m just going to stay within the flow of the offense.”
When Antawn was first introduced to the offense in Washington, it took the team awhile to become comfortable with it as well.
“A couple months [actually],” said Jamison. “Right before the All-Star break we really started to click.”
Critics and fans alike are looking for Jamison to be aggressive offensively when he plays with the second unit. Jamison’s approach is less about scoring, and more about what happens on the defensive end of the floor.
“I am going to continue to do the best I can defensively, and offensively just be patient,” he said. “Offensively, for myself there’s no rush at all.”
It is still very early in the season; Dwight is ailing, Kobe’s foot is sore, Steve is hurt and the bench is playing, well, just like they did during last years’ post-season. The team still has a long way to go, and Jamison’s calm and patient mindset will be a key to the success, or failure, of the Lakers second unit.
To read more quotes from Jamison, click here.