Now that Mike D'Antoni has begun to integrate Jordan Hill into significant minutes as he refines his big man rotation, next at bat appears to be Antawn Jamison. Jamison hasn't played a single minute since December 16th (at Philadelphia), and suddenly finds himself the odd man out. After having a solid stretch of games spanning from late November through early December, he is now stacking up DNP-CD's like pancakes at IHOP. After the blowout victory over the Trail Blazers, Jamison let his frustration be known, reports Mike Bresnahan
"Not this," he said Friday after sitting out a fifth consecutive game via the dreaded DNP-Coach’s Decision.
"Fifteen years," the Lakers forward said, recapping his career. "My only thing is let me know why. I don’t think you go from starting and 30-something minutes to not in the rotation whatsoever. And not explaining to me what exactly happened, that’s the toughest thing. There’s nothing you can do but be positive and support your teammates. The only reason I came here was they said I was going to play and to win a championship." - Mike Bresnahan, L.A. Times
Jamison is on a veteran's minimum deal with Los Angeles and repeatedly stated he came with the hopes of being a key for the Lakers title hopes. Now, he isn't even getting his name called off the bench and hasn't received an explanation from Mike D'Antoni, reports by Mark Medina.
"Nothing has been told to me or anything like that," said Jamison, who’s averaged 7.2 points in 25 games this season, including five as a starter. "We’ll keep it in house. But it’s frustrating. You know you can help the team out and want to help the team out. But it’s not going that way. I’ll continue to work hard and do what’s asked of me to do." - Mark Medina, L.A. Daily News
He can still stretch the floor for the Lakers, and was fairly active on the boards, but with Jordan Hill starting to eat minutes off the bench, and the Lakers beginning to find their rhythm, integrating Antawn may be a challenge D'Antoni isn't going to take to as simply righting the ship is the #1 priority in Lakerland. Still, D'Antoni responded post-game with this snippet from Mark Medina.
“I’m sure he wants to play as any player wants to play,” D’Antoni said. “He’s the greatest professional. He knows his chance will come around.” - Mark Medina, L.A. Daily News
Jamison's chance came around once already as he played heavy minutes while Pau Gasol struggled with tendinitis in each of his knees. Will it come again? For now, it looks like the bench will be his destination.