Jordan Farmar says playing abroad in Turkey was beneficial to his career.
Farmar, who signed a three-year, $10.5-million deal last summer to play in the Turkish Basketball League, agreed to take a salary cut to play with the Lakers, signing with them in July.
His experience overseas, he says, taught him how to become a leader.
"It was the first time in my professional career where I got to carry a team," he said of Turkish team Anadolu Efes, where he averaged 13.8 points and 3.9 assists in 29 games. "I was taking and making big shots. I was at the free throw line at the end of games. I was responsible for how we were going to perform as a team because I had a lot of the load.
"I never had that as a professional yet. Just going through that, I think gave me a lot more opportunity to see what works, to learn my game, to just figure myself out as a player and a person."
Farmar grew up in Los Angeles, went to UCLA and played his first four seasons in the NBA with the Lakers. He was a key reserve on the Lakers championship teams in 2009 and 2010.
In Tuesday's 108-94 preseason win over the Utah Jazz, Farmar led the Lakers with 20 points in 23 minutes, shooting five-for-eight from the field.
"My job is to control the tempo, to bring a different energy and intensity when I come into the game," he said.
So far in preseason play, Farmar is leading the Lakers with 13.7 points and 4.7 assists a game."I think it's just another step in the right direction," Farmar said. "I kind of know my place on the team and everyone is really comfortable."