In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases across the league, players that were previously out of the NBA are getting chances to prove they still belong on a roster. The Los Angeles Lakers, for example, have used their hardship exceptions to sign Darren Collison, Stanley Johnson, Jemerrio Jones and Isaiah Thomas.
While Collison, Johnson and Jones still have time to make their cases, Thomas’s time with the Lakers is over, and there are already players lobbying to replace him (the Lakers are allowed to sign one more replacement player until another player on their team clears the health and safety protocols).
Last week, during an episode of “The Bootleg Kev Podcast,” Iman Shumpert made it known that he’s ready to reunite with his former teammates LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony:
“That’s on Bron, man. Bron know where I’m at. Bron, you know what time it is, man. That’s on you. You know who you can call. Melo, too. It ain’t just on Bron, I lied: Melo, that’s on you too. I don’t want to hear nothing about y’all little defensive issues and leadership and veteran issues. I don’t want to hear that out of them two.”
Shumpert had success playing alongside James in Cleveland from 2015 to 2018, but he hasn’t been able to stick to a roster since the Cavaliers traded him to the Sacramento Kings in the summer of 2018.
That same summer, the Lakers signed Michael Beasley, but he too was traded as a result of his team’s disappointing start. Now, he’s asking to be brought back. On Saturday, while the Lakers were playing the Brooklyn Nets, Michael Beasley tweeted at the Lakers’ official team account and basically asked for a job.
For those that don’t know, the Lakers’ social team doesn’t make decisions on team personnel, but that reality didn’t make his tweetstorm less funny:
A modest 99.9 like Lysol https://t.co/VSXvNVPX9v— Michael Beasley (@Michael8easley) December 26, 2021
Played with giannis didn’t need the ball, James didn’t need the ball, lebron twice didn’t get the ball and per 36 says I should’ve played more in every situation… y’all need help buddy from somebody!! https://t.co/44dVTOiMmU— Michael Beasley (@Michael8easley) December 26, 2021
This is not the first time an NBA veteran who is out of the league has begged for a spot on the Lakers via social media, and while Beasley hasn’t played NBA basketball since the 2018-19 season, he did play in Summer League with the Portland Trail Blazers and was extended an invitation to enter the G League player pool last week, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.
Shumpert, on the other hand, hasn’t been on an NBA bench since March. He did become the first former NBA player to win The Mirrorball Trophy on Dancing with the Stars, though, and we know LeBron was following his run on that show closely:
Given the amount of seemingly forgotten players that have already been called up by teams, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Shumpert and Beasley get a 10-day contract from the Lakers, especially given the ties they have within the organization. However, it’s hard to imagine that their contracts would extend past the initial 10 days.
Even if Beasley and Shumpert show that they can help a team, their skillsets really don’t help this team, at least not more than the guys the Lakers already have. Then again, who do the Lakers really have, you know?