Troy Daniels has played for seven teams over the course of his six-year career, including two this season. Of those teams, there’s one that’s stood out the most to Daniels: the Los Angeles Lakers.
Daniels didn’t have the most successful individual year of his career with the Lakers — in fact, quite the opposite. In 41 appearances for Los Angeles, Daniels averaged 4.1 points per game on 39% shooting from the field, including 35.4% from behind the arc, the latter of which was a career-low for the 28-year-old shooting guard.
However, while his on-court production took a hit, Daniels said he was able to enjoy life as Laker off the court in an interview with Mark Berman of The Roanoke Times:
“It’s something that you always dream about as a little kid,” Daniels said. “For you to actually be there in the midst of those greats and being in that type of organization, it was an unbelievable feeling each and every day.
“The Lakers organization ran totally different than a lot of organizations as far as the way they catered to the players, the way the players have a say-so in everyday stuff that we do. … The type of media attention that you get when you’re with that organization is unbelievable.
“All the way to the chefs — the food was great. We’re having lobster and steaks after games. Staying over in different cities [after games] when other teams would just fly out that night.”
These types of endorsements are what’s going to give the Lakers an edge in free agency now that they’re competitive again. While it not mean much to the top-tier players, who typically look at financial security and team role above all else, it could be the reason veteran role players flock to Los Angeles as opposed to Milwaukee or Denver.
The concept of a “big market” team might be dead now that social media exists, but the Lakers aren’t just a big market — they’re one of the premier markets in the NBA. Does that reek of exceptionalism? Absolutely, but with these types of comments, it’s hard to argue that it isn’t true.