By Ben Bolch
8:55 PM PST, February 21, 2014
Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks won't make the playoffs this season.
It could be worse. At least they'll get to play.
Largely afterthoughts with the Golden State Warriors, the newest Lakers were immediately part of the rotation in their debuts Friday against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center.
Bazemore entered the game late in the first quarter and Brooks checked in a few minutes later to face the team he played with earlier this season before being traded to the Warriors in January.
Hey, at least a few players are excited to be Lakers during a season headed nowhere.
"That's a dream come true, growing up idolizing Kobe Bryant," Bazemore said earlier of the trade that sent him and Brooks to the Lakers in exchange for Steve Blake.
Said Brooks: "I grew up a Lakers fan, a big Kobe Bryant fan, so I'm just excited to get to work."
Brooks, 25, has been tinkering nonstop since his playing time plummeted after a rookie season two years ago in which he averaged 12.6 points a game with the then-New Jersey Nets. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard said he had gone from "190 soaking wet" to 205 pounds while improving his defense, the biggest knock on him.
Bazemore, 24, is largely known as an energy player and solid defender who rarely played in either of his first two NBA seasons. Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni described the 6-5 shooting guard as "long and rangy," but Bazemore could also go by another descriptor: head cheerleader.
His wild celebrations on the bench were known as "Bazemoring" while he played for the Warriors. Animators for the NBA2K14 video game even had him wear a motion-capture suit in their studios so they could incorporate his moves.
Bazemore will have some competition from reserve center Robert Sacre, whose celebratory moves made him a hit on YouTube.
"It's going to be fun," Bazemore said. "Hopefully we can team up and do some stuff."
The Lakers received a $2.789-million trade exception as part of the Blake deal that they can use after the season to acquire another player without sending out matching salary. Though the exception doesn't expire until Feb. 19, 2015, the Lakers would have to renounce it if they drop under the salary cap in July as expected.
Once the Lakers are under the cap, they can acquire players without matching salary as long as the team remains below the cap upon the completion of the trade.
Lakers tickets have fallen from the second-highest to the fourth-highest median price since the start of the season on secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats. After starting the season with a median ticket price of $180, Lakers' tickets have dropped to $125, behind Oklahoma City ($185), the New York Knicks ($159) and the Miami Heat ($150).
Times correspondent Eric Pincus contributed to this report.
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