Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
One hell of a bench.
Mitch Kupchak just yesterday told the press he doesn't expect his bench microwave-burner to return after deciding to test free agency. That's a real shame, as last year the spark-plug lifted the Staples Center crowd with his dunks that looked as good as Hollywood stunts. He was more than superficial, however, developing and honing his game to be a big-time contributor in the crunch.
Give him a couple more clutch plays and you are looking at one of the best bench players in the league, ready to give his team a lift just like a Bobby Jackson or Vinnie Johnson. Last year, Lakers fans were so happy that Brown re-signed after he was tempted to join the big apple of core New York Knicks players.
Now they are looking at his replacement. Even though all these potential moves would be great. Sometimes things really do get better when they stay the same.
He may have been the butt of many jokes, but despite the tears and 'stache, Mo is no joke. Despite the bench-sitting highlight reels made by Jimmy Kimmel after the Lakers second championship, Adam Morrison can play. "He can really go", Kobe told Kimmel, and take it from me, this guy's got more sharp shots than suits and more twine than pine.
This former lottery ticket is no bust. Adam can score like a starter, but with all the options the Lakers had he had to take his ticket and wait in line. Sure, a few more years here could have helped both parties, but it's the Washington Wizards that made the real pooper to begin last year's campaign.
Morrison may have been cut, but he's got plenty more tricks up his sleeve. Lets just hope another team can provide the vest.
Josh may be a quiet guy who seldom played for the Lakers, but he will be missed. He will always be remembered like Mark Madsen for coming in and giving the Lake Show everything he had in any minutes he got. He even put up decent numbers in Andrew Bynum's absence.
When it was time to step up, Josh answered a call that wasn't even meant for him, but he received and connected. A fan and team favourite, Powell's taste in music provided a playlist for the team and Lakers.com.
As a player, too, J-Peezy sounded a lot better than most people are willing to hear. He clicked in a shuffled Lakers rotation as he helped the team repeat.
Josh plays like a tall guard or forward in a big man's body and is raw and seasoned with championship experience. Now this young Atlanta Hawk is still in the playoff hunt as the necessary cover required to help this running and winning team flow. Hawk eyes are on him.
Sure, with just a mere mention of the word 'taco,' Mbenga may provide more entertainment than when the Lake Show hits 100 on burrito night, but D.J. will be missed for more character 'hits' than that. Sure, Mbenga may have been posterized more times than Shawn Bradley acting like a camera man in a dunk contest, but D.J. could put it down, too.
Now yes, when he dyed his hair gold with Ron Artest, Mbenga may have looked more like another NBA wild man—Dennis Rodman—ready to hit a retirement home, but when D.J. was requested he manned the boards and helped the Lakers rebound from injuries. Baby Mutombo is an ambassador to defence, and when he served for the sensational city of New Orleans, he showed the nest some buzz.
We can't forget about Sasha, who was traded in the middle of last season. Sure this machine gunner at times was in a funk and was wild and erratic, but he still served well like Maria Sharapova. Speaking of his belle, we saw him courtside this summer in London for Wimbledon, but Lakers fans sure do miss him at times on court in Staples.
Earlier on in 2011 in London, after the big trade, he hit many big clutch shots for his new team, the New Jersey Nets as he helped thaw the Toronto Raptors in their international double-header. Even when the Lakers hit England's capital last year, the Slovenian still drew cheers and charges despite all eyes on Kob'.
Vujacic was a popular character because of his shot, style, defence and passion. He was erratic but enigmatic, inconsistent but still a champion. The title and praise speaks for itself. The machine motors on along with Jordan Farmar in New Jersey. No sleep 'till Brooklyn.