To say that the circumstances surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers have changed since Jordan Farmar's first stint in Purple and Gold came to a close would be like diagnosing Kobe Bryant's torn Achilles as a matter of mere foot pain.
When last we saw Jordan in his hometown team's colors, he and the Lakers were hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy after staging a stunning comeback to topple the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. Phil Jackson was still the head coach. Andrew Bynum had yet to bottom out on a bowling alley. Sasha Vujacic had yet to propose to (or split from) Maria Sharapova.
Indeed, the landscape of Lakerland has shifted dramatically over the last three years. The Zen Master retired, leaving Mike Brown, Bernie Bickerstaff and Mike D'Antoni to try their respective hands at leading the league's marquee franchise.
Bynum smacked down JJ Barea, became an All-Star, and was then traded for Dwight Howard, who subsequently bolted for the Houston Rockets. Steve Nash switched allegiances, thereby beginning a march to the trainer's table that nearly the entire team followed. At the top, the death of longtime franchise patriarch Dr. Jerry Buss has left the Lakers' hierarchy in disarray, with the leadership mantle to be split somehow between Jeanie Buss and Jim Buss.
Enter Jordan Farmar—not a savior by any stretch, but a welcome returnee nonetheless.
On a one-year, veteran's-minimum contract, no less. Talk about a hometown discount!
Now 26, Farmar has come back to LA older, wiser and stronger from stints with the then-New Jersey Nets, Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, Anadolu Efes in Turkey. Farmar was gracious enough to speak with me over the phone about his new old team, his experiences abroad, his hopes and expectations for the future, and more!