Kaman didn't play during the Los Angeles Lakers' 110-97 loss in Dallas, and per the Dallas Morning News' Brad Townsend, people noticed:
Someone just asked former Maverick Chris Kaman why he hasn't played tonight. "I don't know," Kaman shrugged. "Same (bleep), new city."— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) January 8, 2014
There's no way Kaman was referencing his first nine years in the league, when he was a prominent part of both the Los Angeles Clippers' and the then-New Orleans Hornets' rotations. He was talking about Dallas, and his frustration spilling over into Los Angeles, where he signed, hoping to actually play.
Last year with the Mavericks, Kaman averaged a career-low 20.7 minutes through 66 appearances. That lack of playing time led to his departure and subsequent decision to sign for nearly $5 million less with the Lakers.
Before Kaman could put Dallas behind him, he had a few parting words for head coach Rick Carlisle, according to the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina:
Coach Carlisle is uptight and plays games with people here and there. But Coach D’Antoni is more relaxed and goes with the flow and tells you to play the game. He lets the guys play and gets a feel and lets you make mistakes and play. That’s the kind of basketball that I like to play. You can’t micromanage every tight situation and pull guys in and out. It doesn’t work that way. If you have some superstars, you might get away with that. But for some guys who aren’t as good as the superstars, it’s hard to do that.
So much for Mike D'Antoni being different, at least in terms of playing time.
Kaman is playing even less for the Lakers, setting a new career low with 17.6 minutes per game. And per the Orange County Register's Bill Oram, this isn't the first time he's exhibited immense frustration:
Frustrated Chris Kaman on ankle/9 minutes: "You play pretty decent the game before, it’s like there’s no benefit. Throw it out the window."— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) December 30, 2013
The anger Kaman is displaying has become understandable. He hasn't played in four games, failing to figure into D'Antoni's rotation, which says something knowing how shallow the Lakers are right now.
This most certainly isn't what he had in mind.
Does Kaman deserve more playing time in Los Angeles?
When he signed with Los Angeles, he saw an opportunity. The Lakers weren't interested in long-term commitments, electing to piece together a roster consisting of perennial misfits instead. Compared to many others, Kaman was the closest they would come to guaranteed production, a talented player deserving extensive burn.
But it hasn't worked out that way.
"Obviously, I would have never came here if they had said, 'We're not going to play you at all,' " Kaman admitted, via the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahn. "I thought I had a good opportunity coming here."
Turns out he thought wrong. Again.
Same story, different city.