Of all the off-season moves made by the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office over the summer, the one acquisition that was questionable or uncertain due to lack of name recognition was the signing of free agent guard Jodie Meeks.
The Lakers had been flirting with the idea of signing Meeks since the season ended, but few knew his name and therefore questioned the move.
Fortunately for Meeks, the former Kentucky standout has fit in nicely in Los Angeles averaging 8.3 points per game in 19.1 minutes per contest off the bench. Meeks had his fair share of problems right out of the gate with lack of playing time under Mike Brown and struggling to shoot consistently well from beyond the arc, but begun to find his stride with Mike D’Antoni calling the shots.
Along with starting to find his role with this new-look Lakers squad, Meeks has also received support and advice from Kobe Bryant. Meeks views Kobe as a mentor and doesn’t understand why he gets a bad rap as a teammate via John N. Mitchell of Philly.com:
“I heard a lot of things about playing with Kobe [Bryant], and a lot of them were bad,” Meeks said. “But it turns out that most of that stuff must have been made up. He’s been a mentor to me. He works hard every day. He’s the ultimate pro.”
With Kobe taking him under his wing and D’Antoni giving him plenty of playing time in a reserve role, Meeks will have his opportunity to shine this season as long as he continues to be one of the team’s best outside shooters and scorers off the bench. Meeks may have a bright future in the league with an impression made with the Lakers. The positive attitude and nothing but good things said about the 25-year-old by Kobe and former head coach Doug Collins can go a long away in terms of securing a long-term career in the NBA.