Kendall Marshall to start at point guard for Lakers

Kendall Marshall to start at point guard for Lakers
Kendall Marshall will start at point guard for the Lakers on Friday when the team plays host to the Utah Jazz. (Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty Images)

None of this entered Kendall Marshall's thoughts in his wildest, most optimistic moments.

The former first-round draft washout is now the Lakers' starting point guard. Two weeks ago, he was with the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League.


Coach Mike D'Antoni made it official Thursday, giving Marshall the nod at point over veteran shooting guard Jodie Meeks after Jordan Farmar was declared out for four weeks because of a torn hamstring.

"Stuff is happening pretty fast," Marshall said. "It's unfortunate with some of the injuries that we're having. But it's up to us collectively as a team to kind of figure it out."

Marshall was the 13th pick in the 2012 draft but was traded from Phoenix to Washington a little more than a year later as part of a bigger trade involving center Marcin Gortat. The Wizards promptly cut Marshall.

The Lakers signed him Dec. 20 after injuries to Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Kobe Bryant forced their hand.

Marshall never thought about starting at point guard for the Lakers while toiling in the Development League.

"I'd be lying if I said I did," he said. "I guess God had a way of things working out, so I just have to take advantage of it and try to help the team."

He is averaging 5.3 points and 2.5 assists in four games with the Lakers.

Farmar still optimistic

Farmar wanted to reestablish his NBA career in D'Antoni's stat-friendly offense, terminating a lucrative pro contract in Turkey to take substantially less for the Lakers.

Instead he's shelved after sustaining another tear in his left hamstring Tuesday against Milwaukee.

"There's still a long season left even after my four weeks or whatever it's going to be," Farmar said, trying to remain upbeat. "And I have a long career left. I'm not looking at it in a negative light."

He missed 31/2 weeks last month because of a different tear in the same hamstring. This tear is about six inches higher than the initial one. Lightning struck twice, more or less.

"It's very, very rare," Farmar said. "I don't have any ill will or sour feelings towards the way it was handled the first time. I think the staff did a great job. We waited until everything felt 100%."

Farmar, 27, was averaging 8.7 points and 4.7 assists. He makes $884,293 this season.


Meeks warned

Meeks was warned by the NBA for flopping after being "felled" by a right elbow from Milwaukee rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo in Tuesday's game.

As can be seen clearly in the replay, Antetokounmpo missed Meeks by several inches in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 94-79 loss.

The NBA does not fine a player for a first offense, but Meeks will be docked $5,000 if he is caught flopping again. The penalty climbs by $5,000 for each successive flop until the fifth, which jumps up to $30,000. Six or more results in an unspecified penalty, including possible suspension.

Lakers dumped again

TNT will no longer televise the Lakers' game against Chicago on Jan. 20, instead showing Portland-Houston that night. TNT and the NBA made the choice together.

The NBA announced last week it would dump ESPN's planned Jan. 8 telecast of a Lakers-Houston game for a Phoenix-Minnesota game the same night.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

Times correspondent Eric Pincus contributed to this report.