Mom helped 'coach' Magic's Lamb

New Magic guard's parents played key roles

Orlando Magic guard talks about losing a lead in the final minutes.

Mother knows best. Just ask new Magic guard Doron Lamb.

When you see Lamb drive and float an arching shot over taller players in the lane, remember this:

His mom gets an assist.

She taught Doron "The Floater" when he was a fifth-grader.

"When I was young, I was going to the basket and I'd get my shot blocked all the time," said Lamb, a New York native. "My mom told me in the house one day, 'You have to bring your floater and shoot over the big guys.'

"I really didn't know what the floater was, so she took me outside to the park. She had me doing drills and doing floaters. It worked."

Lamb said his mother, Brigitte Grant, brought a stick and lifted it high to illustrate where she wanted him to release the shot. When Doron's father was at work, she also rebounded for him and lined up cones on the court for dribbling drills.

Grant was a high school cheerleader, but as Doron said, "She didn't know a lot about basketball, but she knew basketball players."

One player she eventually got to know was Calvin Lamb, a star at Long Island University. The two started a family. Actually, Doron couldn't have asked for a better parental tag-team.

His father coached him on the fundamentals. Lamb, a natural right-hander, is so good with the ball in his left hand because his dad cajoled him to become ambidextrous.

Doron recalls that if he wanted to go to the store, he had to dribble the ball with his left a certain amount of time. If his right hand touched the ball, he either couldn't go or had to repeat the drill.

Doron never backed down from the challenge. He loved baseball and rollerblading. He took swimming lessons at a YMCA after his mother watched a Lifetime movie in which a child who couldn't swim died in the story. Eventually, hoops won out.

Doron's had an ideal basketball upbringing. He played against some of the best players in New York City, such as Kemba Walker, sometimes at renowned Rucker Park. He then transferred to Oak Hill Academy, a no-nonsense prep powerhouse.

He played two seasons at Kentucky under John Calipari, a former NBA coach. The elite Wildcats provided a gateway to the pros or as Doron said, jokingly, "Just like an NBA team playing in college." He teamed with Anthony Davis to win the national title last season.

But while Davis, Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Terrance Jones were first-round picks, Doron wasn't taken until the second round with the 46th pick by the Milwaukee Bucks.

He seldom played on the veteran-laden team and was briefly sent to the D-League Fort Wayne Mad Ants for seasoning. Then came the J.J. Redick trade that sent him to the Magic last week. "I was surprised," Doron said. "I was disappointed a little, but now I'm glad. I'm happy here.

"I never had a chance to show what I can do and now I'm trying to take advantage of this opportunity on a young team."

Tobias Harris, a New York native and teammate in Milwaukee, has known Doron since he was seven years old. "We were rivals," Harris said. "Doron's a great player. He didn't get to show people in Milwaukee the best of his game. Now that he's here, fans waiting to see his game will be intrigued."

Battie on TV

Paul Kennedy's new sidekick on the Magic's post-game shows after away games on Fox Sports is former Magic PF Tony Battie. Former Magic great Nick Anderson appears following home games to break down the action.

Advertisement