Antawn Jamison was in the starting lineup for the Lakers less than a week ago, but last night, coach Mike D'Antoni never brought him off the bench in a one-point win over the Bobcats. That's left Jamison puzzled about his suddenly shrinking role in L.A., he tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
"I’m here to win a championship. If me not being out there improves our chances, then you have to roll with it. Of course I’m not excited about it. I want to compete. I know if I’m out there, I can contribute. But what else can you do?" the power forward said.
Jamison's signing of a one-year, minimum-salary deal in the offseason was one of the most surprising moves of the summer, since he could have been in line for much more after a season in which he was the second-leading scorer for the Cavs, at 17.2 points per game, and also the team's third-leading rebounder, notching 6.3 boards per contest. The former North Carolina Tar Heel will be a free agent again next summer, and he said that he'd like to play for the Bobcats at some point. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer wonders whether the Lakers might just trade him to Charlotte this season if they decide they don't have a use for him (Twitter link).
D'Antoni has been tinkering with his rotation quite a bit of late, and also handed out a DNP-CD to fellow power forward Jordan Hill last night, as Pau Gasol made his return to the lineup after sitting out to rest his knees. The coach said neither Jamison nor Hill did anything to deserve their lack of playing time, and that he's just trying to figure out how best to configure the team. Hill and Jamison have both been in the starting lineup at different points this season, with Hill having made his lone start of the season on the 11th against the Cavs.