Starting this Friday, you'll once again get to watch grown men playing basketball with the word Lakers across the front of their jerseys. That's when the Lakers - or "Lakers" - will begin a five-game summer league sked in Las Vegas. If you'd like a visual metaphor to help you anticipate the experience, imagine receiving a Tiffany's jewelry box and opening it to find a chunk of cubic zirconium therein. You're not getting a Tiffany's rock. Not even close. Because of the packaging, though, your brain might fool itself for a second or two into thinking you're about to enjoy some lavish gift. (Incidentally, this is totally my plan if I can ever find a girl to propose to and someone to lend me a Tiffany's box.)
Anyhoo, today the team disclosed its summer-league roster, and... well, it's a summer-league roster. By which I mean, there are some guys who were just drafted (Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter) who are likely to become Lakers Lakers, a longtime D-Leaguer (Courtney Sims) or two, the son of a famous MLB washout (D.J. Strawberry) and a couple (Tyler Sanborn and Ibrahim Jabeer) whose names might as well have been randomly generated. Hey, cubic zirconium can sparkle a bit, but don't stare too hard at it or you'll start to see why it cost $49.95 plus shipping and handling.
One player I'll be keeping an eye on is Rob Kurz. He's a 25 year old forward out of Notre Dame who last year averaged 17 and 10 with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (home of this terrifying mascot). Kurz appeared in 40 games for Golden State in 2008-09 and showed good pick-and-pop abilities. He's not a prospect or anything, but as someone who made almost 40% of his threes (in admittedly limited time) in the NBA, I could see him being useful as a 10th or 11th man.
Then there's Gerald Green. He's good at dunking.
What he isn't so good at is shooting or playing defense, which is why he washed out of the league and ended up in Russia last year despite his McDonald's All-American, straight-from-high-school pedigree and stops with four different NBA teams. The Lakers need to fill out the bottom end of their roster with someone, so there's nothing wrong with taking a look at a guy like Green, but there's also no real reason to expect him to become, unbidden, the player the Celtics thought they were getting when they took him 18th in the 2005 draft.
Overseeing the summer squad will be assistant coach Chuck Person. The first game will be at 5:00 p.m. Friday against the "Pistons," who'll have Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye and DaJuan Summers running for them. Not sure about TV coverage right now. If it's on the tube, maybe we'll get crazy and put up a game thread.
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