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Lakers

Lakers won’t be acquiring Darren Collison, who decides to remain retired

Darren Collison last played for the Indiana Pacers during the 2018-19 season.
Darren Collison last played for the Indiana Pacers during the 2018-19 season.
(Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

Free-agent point guard Darren Collison, whom the Lakers had hoped to sign to a contract after he visited them last week, has decided to stay retired, according to people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Collison has told friends that he wants to wait until the summer before deciding whether he will return to the NBA. He also has told friends that he wants to spend more time with family.

Collison abruptly retired last summer before free agency after 10 seasons in the league, citing family and religious reasons.

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The Lakers, who did not make a move before Thursday’s trade deadline, and Clippers were two teams with which Collison had mutual interest if he decided to make a return.

The Lakers and Clippers also were in trade talks with the New York Knicks for forward Marcus Morris, who eventually went to the Clippers.

That left the Lakers looking at the buyout market and Collison’s potential return to bolster their roster for a playoff run.

Collison attended the Lakers’ game Thursday night against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center, giving fans hope that he might want to play again.

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Collison sat next to Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss at the game after he visited the team’s locker room.

When his face was shown on the video board during the game, Collison tried to cover it with his hoodie. He was unable to do so before he was spotted and cheered by fans.

The 32-year-old Collison, who is from Rancho Cucamonga and starred at Etiwanda High and UCLA, averaged 12.5 points, 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals during his NBA career. He shot 85.3% from the free-throw line and 39.4% from three-point range.

Collison was drafted 21st overall in 2009 by the New Orleans Hornets. He later played for the Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Pacers again.

Lakers staying focused

The Lakers have two games left before the All-Star break, Monday night against the visiting Phoenix Suns and Wednesday night against the Nuggets in Denver. It is imperative that the Lakers stay locked in for those two games.

“We’ve got two important games to play,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Saturday night after his team defeated the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center in San Francisco. “This little stretch from New Year’s to [the] All-Star break is kind of the dog days of the NBA season, and you have to fight monotony on a daily basis. It can be even harder when you have a team that has a lot of guys out, like you saw tonight.

“But we’ve got two big games coming up. We got to lock in and try to get Ws.”

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The Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference at 39-12 but are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

“Just got to be professionals,” guard Danny Green, who’s in his 11th NBA season, said Saturday night. “We have some veterans on this team, and with that experience, we just got to take care of business. There are no excuses. Got to keep that same mental edge, sense of urgency and that focus we had at the beginning of the season. And not get ready for vacation too soon.”

Etc.

The Lakers will talk later this week to former Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters, according to a person not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The eight-year veteran was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies last week as part of the Andre Iguodala deal and then waived. He only played in three games with Miami, which suspended him three times before Christmas for various team infractions.

UP NEXT

VS. PHOENIX

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday.

On the air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet; Radio: 710, 1330.

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Update: Suns shooting guard Devin Booker is eighth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 26.7 points per game, while point guard Ricky Rubio is fourth in the league in assists, averaging 8.6.

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