Lakers’ Ed Davis not happy about taking his turn on the sidelines
It was Ed Davis’ turn to “rest” for a game, and he wasn’t thrilled about it.
“Honestly, I don’t like it,” the Lakers forward said Sunday before the Lakers lost to Brooklyn, 107-99. “I didn’t ask to sit out or anything. I wanted to play 82 games this year. But, you know, it’s not my decision.”
Veteran big men Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer started sitting games last week so the Lakers could, in Coach Byron Scott’s view, evaluate some of their younger post players.
But Davis, 25, is one of those younger post players. And now he’s being held out.
A side note: The Lakers (19-53) hold the NBA’s fourth-worst record and could lose their first-round draft pick if they fall below the fifth spot on lottery night.
Hill returned to action Sunday after “resting” for three games, but a perfectly healthy Davis was sidelined. He had 16 points and 14 rebounds when the Lakers played Brooklyn last month at Staples Center.
Scott didn’t give a specific reason for the lineup shuffle, suggesting it was simply time for a different big-man rotation.
Davis wasn’t spitting venom. He’s too good-natured for that. But he wasn’t exactly embracing the change, either.
“Like I said, I wanted to play all 82,” he said. “I’m going to support the guys and be there, stay professional and stay ready.”
Davis is essentially in a contract year, acknowledging Sunday he would decline a player option worth $1.1 million next season, a no-brainer for him. He was averaging 8.4 points and 7.5 rebounds in 71 games and expected to earn closer to the league average of $5.5 million when he hit the free-agent market in July.
March gladness, sadness
Beyond all the money made and fame achieved by NBA players, this time of year can create nostalgia in the locker room, a reason to remember the college years, however temporary they might have been.
Plus, there’s that little thing called pride.
There was plenty of chatter between Lakers teammates Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly when their colleges faced each other Sunday in an NCAA tournament South Regional final — Sacre went to Gonzaga, Kelly to Duke.
The NCAA game was only at halftime when the Lakers-Nets game ended, Duke holding a five-point edge.
“When you’re America’s team, everybody wants to root for us,” Sacre said. “Plus we’re playing Duke. Everyone’s tired of Duke. They’ve been to enough Final Fours. [Mike] Krzyzewski’s a very good coach, but it’s time for it to be over.”
Sacre loves referring to Gonzaga as America’s team, which often leads to eye rolls in a locker room filled with Duke and North Carolina graduates, not to mention Kansas, Syracuse and Arizona.
“We’re just about winning,” Kelly said, smiling. “Nothing’s quite like Duke in the tournament. That’s all I have to say.”
Duke ended up beating Gonzaga, 66-52, and will face Michigan State in a championship semifinal next Saturday.
Young injury update
Reserve forward Nick Young will sit out at least one more week while continuing to heal from a fractured left knee. He has missed 17 games.
Young, 29, is averaging 13.4 points and shooting what would be a career-low 36.6%. He has three more years and $16.3 million left on his contract.
LAKERS AT PHILADELPHIA
When: 4 PDT
Where: Wells Fargo Center.
On the air: TV: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.
Records: Lakers 19-53, 76ers 18-56.
Record vs. 76ers: 1-0.
Update: A big one for the lottery! The 76ers have the NBA’s third-worst record and the Lakers are fourth-worst with a little more than two weeks left in the regular season. Jeremy Lin had 29 points, five rebounds and five assists in the Lakers’ 101-87 victory over Philadelphia last week at Staples Center. Ed Davis was solid defensively that night, adding 11 rebounds and four blocked shots to eight points.
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