It seems like every now and then, Mike D’Antoni decides to bench one of his key players. At first it was Pau Gasol in the fourth quarter, then it was the hard-working Jordan Hill, and now it’s the one of the Lakers’ best role players Antawn Jamison.
In the Lakers’ win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday, D’Antoni did not insert Jamison into the game despite the fact that he played well when Pau Gasol was injured. Jamison has proven that he can a be a reliable scorer for the Lakers and someone that fits very well in the starting lineup. He has posted up double-digit points many times this season and also had a 33-point outing on Nov. 30.
Jamison spoke to Mark Medina and he talked about how he is trying to stay positive in spite of the lack of playing time he has been receiving.
“I’m here to win a championship,” Jamison said. “If me not being out there improves our chances, then you have to roll with it. Of course I’m not excited about it. I want to compete. I know if I’m out there, I can contribute. But what else can you do?”
Jamison then answered his own question.
“You just have to stay positive,” Jamison said. “It’s difficult. You never know. Next week, there might be 37 minutes again. You just have to stay positive and have to ride this ship until we find out what are we going to do. Right now, we’re all confused by what’s going on.”
Jamison plays an important role on this Lakers team and they will need him to perform at a high level if they want to succeed in the playoffs. D’Antoni may give Jamison more minutes down the road, but this point the coaching staff is still playing with rotations so there is no guarantee for him.
However, with Steve Nash coming back to the court shortly and with Pau Gasol already reinserted into the starting lineup, there may not be a lot of minutes left for Jamison.