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Game after game – be it a win or a loss – Antawn Jamison continues to receive the cold shoulder from Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni.
For Jamsion, it’s something he’s never seen before in his 15-year NBA career. He can still play, putting up 33 points just a month ago, but he’s fallen out of the rotation after D’Antoni decided on playing Metta World Peace at the back-up power forward spot. He’s also been playing younger guys like Darius Morris to help bring energy on the defensive end.
Jamison says he hasn’t been told directly why he’s getting no playing time. Here’s what he told Mark Medina:
“It doesn’t make sense at all,” Jamison said in a brief interview with this newspaper. “They’re pretty much telling me my services are no longer needed.”
Jamison passed up big money and minutes to come to the Lakers and compete for a championship. According to the Los Angeles Times, D’Antoni said that the team “don’t want to lose Antawn,” which brings up the question: will the two look to part ways in the near future?
If D’Antoni doesn’t see a future in Los Angeles for Jamison – and if Antawn isn’t prepared to sit on the bench all year waiting for an injury or sudden change in the rotation – there’s always the chance that Jamison could request to leave the squad.
While a trade is possible, and Jamison’s low contract would be very attractive to most teams, it is unlikely a deal would be agreed upon, seeing as the Lakers would want to send Antawn to a team of his choice.
In this type of situation, a buyout would be more likely, meaning Jamison would be free to leave and sign with any team he wishes. This could be a interesting idea for the Lakers, too, as they’d free up a roster spot and could bring on a free agent to try and fill a need on the team.
However, it might not come to that: Pau Gasol and Mike D’Antoni shared dinner last week and the Spaniard aired his frustrations with the coach. Pau now seems much more comfortable in the offense and is playing well. Could Mike do the same with Antawn? Can he find him minutes somewhere? We’ll have to wait and see.