Antawn Jamison stays patient, receives family’s advice
The Lakers brought in forward Antawn Jamison in the off-season to help bolster the team’s bench. Jamison is a 14-year veteran with career averages of 19.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
As a Laker, he’s been relatively quiet as a reserve, scoring just 4.3 points per game in just 16.8 minutes.
“I’ve never been the one who tried to rush into anything,” said Jamison. “I just kind of go with the flow of things and eventually things will start to click. You know, I’ve been hearing it, ‘You gotta be aggressive. You gotta be aggressive,’ but I’m just going to stay within the flow of the offense.”
So Coach Mike Brown is urging him to be more aggressive?
“It’s my kids, my mom,” corrected Jamison. “Nah, the coaches, they know what they want me to do. Coach has tried to get me on the box a little bit more in the past game or two. It’s going to take time.”
Before the Lakers earned their first win of the season against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night, Brown mentioned that he’d like to see his second unit look for Jamison more as a scorer.
Against the Pistons, he scored his season high of six.
Jamison has been on half a dozen playoff teams but also a number of squads that were lottery-bound. He said the past week was difficult to work through as the Lakers dropped three straight.
“I’ve been a part of a lot of organizations, but losing three games in a row was tough,” said Jamison. “I was disappointed too as well because we know we could have played better than what we have been playing. We have to understand that when we play, our opponent is going to give us their best game, and we have been doing a lot of thinking out there rather than just playing the game.”
Brown brought in Jamison’s former coach with the Washington Wizards, Eddie Jordan, to help install a variation of the Princeton offense.
“I know the offense, but I’m right there with [my teammates] learning how to play together,” said Jamison. “I know the spots I need to be at, but you can’t just have one guy that knows where to be. You have to be on a string offensively.”
It’s been pretty clear through the preseason and the first few games of the regular season that the Lakers were thinking instead of reacting. Still, the team is shooting an impressive 50.3% from the field. The discomfort has been more evident in turnovers (18.5 a game).
“It’s going to take time. I remember times in D.C., it took awhile, but once we got it everything started clicking.”
How long did it take in Washington?
“A couple months,” said Jamison. “Right before the All-Star break we really started to click.”
Naturally, the team hopes to perform better than its current 1-3 record, but Brown has often said he expects the Lakers to be “clicking” by January.
In the meantime, Jamison is going to be patient as he searches for his role.
“I am going to continue to do the best I can defensively, and offensively just be patient,” he said. “The first three or four games are not going to dictate the outcome of the season.”
The losing has been painful for Jamison and the Lakers, but he’s confident the team will be significantly better once its grows into the system.
“It’s been tough on my psyche but I just know that eventually things will start to go in the direction we want to go as a team,” he said. “Offensively, for myself there’s no rush at all.”
No rush, even if his own kids are pressuring him to shoot more.
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