With the summer over and training camp well underway, Chris Kaman has had some time to adjust to being a Laker. With the loss of Dwight Howard at the center position, Kaman has placed himself in a good situation in which he can revitalize his career by coming back to the city of Los Angeles to play for the Lakers.
With Kaman now entering his eleventh season, he took a moment to sit down with Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles and reflected on his experiences with playing for both Los Angeles franchises, as well as why he used to hate Kobe Bryant.
One compelling topic in particular that Kaman discussed was how he viewed his draft class (2003) in comparison to other great draft classes, such as the ones in 1984 and 1996.
While he respects and admires the talent that the classes before him produced, he still thinks the 2003 draft class gets overlooked in examining the great ones.
“Those are some good draft classes though, you know? But there’s some other guys that people don’t even realize [from 2003]. Jarvis Hayes had a decent career. David West was in there. Josh Howard was in there. I was in there. Kirk Hinrich’s in there. Nick Collison. Luke Ridnour. There’s some guys that people don’t realize, and there’s some guys in the second round. There’s a couple [other] guys — [Marquis] Daniels had a solid first part of his career. Maurice Williams. There’s other guys, I can’t even think of them all, but if you look at the list it will be surprising to you how many good players that are in that draft class and guys that are still playing in this league and still getting it done.”
Kaman thinks that what LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are doing in Miami can have a tremendous impact on how his draft class is looked in the grand scheme of things because they have the chance to accomplish something that few teams have done: winning three consecutive championships.
“So, I mean, it’s hard to say. But, if you look at it, we’ve got LeBron who’s won the MVP multiple times, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron and the Miami Heat won rings, two of them. Kobe’s got five [rings], Ray Allen’s got a few. I don’t know. It’s tough. That’s a tough call. I think overall dominance, we got to wait and see what happens with LeBron and Wade and Bosh down there in Miami. If they get another ring this year, then what does that say? Where does that put them? Where does that put LeBron? I don’t know.”
All in all, Kaman presents an interesting take regarding the 2003 class and how it can be viewed in years to come.
As for Kaman now, he has an amazing opportunity to make something special out of his Laker experience this season. It is not yet known what his role will be, but he certainly is going to make an impact on this team, as he is one of few experienced big men on the roster.
Check out our interview with Chris Kaman