Lakers’ Chris Kaman starts against Knicks, but he’s still frustrated

Chris Kaman started Tuesday’s game for one reason.

There weren’t enough healthy big men for the Lakers against New York.

“It’s been a long season. I can’t wait till it’s over,” Kaman said, adding a sigh before officially ending a 10-game sentence at the end of the Lakers’ bench.

He hasn’t enjoyed the month of March. Or, really, this whole season.

“The last conversation I’ve had with Coach [Mike D’Antoni] was in Portland,” three weeks ago, Kaman said. “I didn’t really talk to him [Tuesday]. He just announced the starting lineup and I was in it. I didn’t say anything. I’m just trying to do my job and make this go by as quick as possible and kind of move on.”

Has Kaman aired his frustration with D’Antoni?

He smiled and said, “No comment.”

He’s certainly not happy, saying this is the hardest of his 11 NBA seasons “tenfold.”


“I’m not at peace about it,” he said, adding a mild expletive. “But I can’t control it. I’m not in charge. I don’t run the show. I don’t turn the wheels. I don’t make the clock work. It’s somebody else controlling me. I’m a puppet. I don’t have my own strings under control.”

Kaman has been bothered by a sore ligament in his right foot but not enough to keep him out of games, he says. He was the fourth guy in a three-man rotation of Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre. With Gasol sidelined because of vertigo, Kaman got the nod Tuesday.

“I’m thrilled. I’m enthralled,” he said sarcastically.

Like most of the Lakers, he will be a free agent in July. He was the team’s main signing last summer, taking $3.2 million via the entire “mini” mid-level exception.

Kaman was averaging 9.9 points and 5.6 rebounds before Tuesday’s game.

He said he would second-guess one thing about this season — his inability to thoroughly weigh the Lakers’ small-ball offensive scheme before signing with them last July.

“My bad on my part, not doing due diligence enough to look into a situation better and style of play and that kind of thing,” Kaman said. “I won’t knock style of play because I think it’s worked for Coach in the past. He’s had some teams with great success. I just think sometimes when you have certain players that can really play the game of basketball, you’d cater to their style.

“But as the head coach, that’s a decision that you make based upon the tools you’ve been given. It’s his job to do the best he can with it.”

Nash still out

Steve Nash sat out Tuesday’s game but planned to go on the Lakers’ quick trip to Milwaukee and Minnesota.

If he plays, it probably will be only one game because it is a back-to-back situation (Thursday and Friday).

Nash, 40, has played 11 games this season, making a brief return Friday against Washington before being sidelined again because of nerve damage in his back.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan