NBA News: Antawn Jamison Won’t Count Kobe Out, Respects D’Antoni
One-time Laker and recently signed Clipper, Antawn Jamison, joined ESPN 710 Los Angeles on Friday to discuss numerous topics, including Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
While Jamison believes the Clippers will give him a better chance to win a championship this season, he was very complimentary of Kobe Bryant’s incomparable mindset and drive as the five-time champion recovers from his Achilles injury:
“I’ve played with some special players. Gilbert Arenas when he was at the top of his game, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal. I’ve played with a lot but never played with an individual player who had that type of mindset, the drive that he has.”
Jamison understands that many are counting the Los Angeles Lakers out this season, but he believes Bryant will find a way to lead the franchise to another championship:
“Of course, on the outside looking in you could say, that might not happen this year or whatever with him coming off the injury and the Lakers trying to get things together. But I mean, the guy, he’s going to do everything possible to get that sixth ring.”
Jamison had high hopes to win a championship with the Lakers, but there were numerous issues including his benching when Mike D’Antoni was hired. He voiced his displeasure during the season, but now understands where D’Antoni was coming and ultimately respects the coach:
“I don’t dislike Mike. I obviously respect him as a coach. In my eyes, one of the best offensive-minded coaches in the league. I just think he was put in a tough position, but toward the end of the season, you saw him kind of open up. We started to have a relationship, and I kind of understood where he was coming from.”
It was a difficult season for a veteran who had high hopes to win his first championship. Some may criticize Jamison for jumping ship and joining the Clippers, but he has been a true professional for the league who deserves a chance to win a championship.
In his only season with the Lakers, Jamison averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds while appearing in 76 games.
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