I meant to post this article on Monday, so the first two paragraphs are obsolete. Great read, nonetheless…
Examiner: On Tuesday Phil Jackson will make his final decisions on the Lakers’ opening day roster. That means that the roster will be cut to 13 or 14, and the Laker dream will end for a couple of youngsters.
By this time Tuesday CJ Giles, Coby Karl, or Joe Crawford will join a prestigious list of Lakers who get slightly more playing time than the ball boys (Brandon Heath was just cut today). One of them will have his name chanted mercilessly in the final minutes of a blowout until he finally tears away his warm-ups and makes his way to the scorer’s table…only to see time expire before he can actually check into the game.
As a former scrub myself (didn’t exactly rack up the innings on the Yale baseball team), I felt it was time to pay homage to the guys who make you go “Oh yeah, he was on the team…wasn’t he?” So without further ado I give you the Top 10 Laker Benchwarmers (that I can remember).
Reggie Jordan, 1993-94: This was back when I was first starting to get into basketball. The Lakers weren’t very good in the Post-Magic Rebuilding Era (39-43 in 92-93), but hopes went sky high when they announced the signing of Jordan. Well, not that Jordan. Not afraid to invite the comparison, Reggie dawned number 23 for the purple and gold, but we quickly found out that this was more like “Hot Air Jordan” as the Lakers put up another miserable season in 1993-94 (33-49).
Bottom Line: The lesser Jordan averaged 5.4 points in 23 games for the Lakers, but led the league in mistaken identity: “You wanna trade me a Jordan card for my Vlade Divac? Sure!”