Sometimes in life, we take risks, and they can either be the best decisions we make, or something we ultimately regret. For Kent Bazemore, the chance he took by leaving the Golden State Warriors last summer for less money to play with the Lakers this season was, let’s just say, something he’s probably going to think about for quite some time.
It appears it’s something Bazemore has already pondered as he watched his former teammates reclaim the throne as the kings of the Western Conference on Thursday.
Because in the aftermath of the Warriors’ series-clinching victory against the Dallas Mavericks, Bazemore sent out a cryptic tweet...
Congrats to my homies…….— Kenny Baze (@24Bazemore) May 27, 2022
But I’m sick bruh
...and seemed to instantly regret it when he saw the replies:
I’m mad I even gave y’all the time. That’s on me. Gotta be better. These med ball slams are going to hit different today pic.twitter.com/hdrw78TJc3— Kenny Baze (@24Bazemore) May 27, 2022
Work completed for the day. Quite apparent most of you don’t know my story. If you were half as critical about your own life then the world would be a muchhhhh better place. I hope you got what you wanted because it is just noise to me.— Kenny Baze (@24Bazemore) May 27, 2022
Look, it’s hard to blame the 14-year veteran for feeling some type of way. Because when Bazemore made the decision to leave the Warriors last summer to take less money in Los Angeles, he assumed that he’d have a more integral role and compelling opportunity to win a championship with the Lakers, who at that time, were favored by many over the Warriors (and the entire Western Conference).
Bazemore turned down more money and years (two) from the Warriors, sources say, but believes he will have a bigger role and opportunity to win a championship with the Lakers. Bazemore is betting on himself. https://t.co/rw1VyXMN9c— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 3, 2021
Not only did this painful decision end up slapping Bazemore in the face nine months later, but his wish to play more and compete for a championship didn’t come true as well. In fact, Bazemore’s season in L.A. was his least productive since his rookie year, seeing him average just 3.4 points, 1.8 rebounds in 39 games. He started in the Lakers’ first 13 games this season but his lack of effectiveness was the reason why he was buried on the bench and never saw consistent minutes throughout the season.
When the guard was strongly recruited in the summer by Rob Pelinka and Frank Vogel, the Lakers hoped Bazemore would fill the void that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso left — specifically for the team’s perimeter defense and shooting needs. After all, Bazemore was, on paper, the best combo two-way guard and 3-D wing available on the limited market for cheap.
Bazemore was coming off a season with the Warriors where he averaged a career-best 40.8% shooting on threes in 67 games, and played a total of 1,333 minutes as a starter. He followed this up with an inconsistent 36.3% 3-point shooting in just 544 minutes of playing time in Los Angeles. He never really thrived in Vogel’s system and it didn’t help that the Lakers’ guard-heavy rotation that consisted of Austin Reaves, Avery Bradley and Malik Monk was favored over him.
So, it’s hard not to feel for Bazemore right now, who’s probably repeating his life motto in his head as he watches the Warriors march to the NBA Finals. We all have regrets in life, just like Bazemore does, but that’s part of the consequence when we take risks.
The only thing Bazemore can do now is practice what he preaches, and chop wood and carry water while he waits for a chance at redemption.