The Lakers introduced new center Chris Kaman in a press conference today, where he chose the jersey number nine to wear next season. Kaman joins the Lakers as most likely the back-up center. The Lakers believe that Kaman will complement Gasol well and fit nicely into the Mike D’Antoni system.
The big man is very excited to play alongside with one of the greatest players of all-time in Kobe Bryant.
Chris Kaman on playing with Kobe Bryant: “You hear about how hard he works and stuff like that. I’m interested to see what it is.”
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 16, 2013
The center is looking forward to seeing the passion and intensity of the Black Mamba. Kaman wants to learn from Kobe’s work ethic and utilize that as part of his game as well. Kaman appreciates the desire and will to win that Kobe has, and he can’t wait to be a part of it.
Chris Kaman asked about his “battles” with Kobe over the years: “I don’t know if those were battles …”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 16, 2013
Kaman has played many times against Kobe over his career with the Los Angeles Clippers, the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans), and the Dallas Mavericks. Kaman doesn’t think he had many battles with Kobe specifically as the two players play completely different positions, but is familiar with being on the other side and watching Kobe’s game.
Kaman talked about how he thought the Lakers finished the season last season despite dealing with the Kobe’s season-ending Achilles injury.
“I think it was a battle until the end. Obviously, nobody anticipated Kobe getting hurt, and they were still able to finish up strong and make the playoffs.”
“Its a tough position when your best player, the best player in the world, goes down like that. I think they would have had a better chance if they had their best player.”
“Especially when he never gets hurt and plays through everything. Its one of those things you cant play through, if he would, he could.”
Without a devastating injury to Kobe, Kaman believes that the Lakers could have been competitive last season in the playoffs. To lose your best player before the playoffs is absolutely devastating for any team.
With Kaman, and new additions such as Nick Young and Wes Johnson, the Lakers have added much needed depth to their roster. Hopefully, the Lakers will be more competitive next season than most people are thinking right now.
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