This sidebar off Game 5 didn’t run in the print editions of all our SoCal sister papers today, so if you missed it, here it is:
By Elliott Teaford
BOSTON — Jordan Farmar played high school basketball in Woodland Hills.
He played college ball in Westwood.
He plays professionally downtown.
Farmar is well aware that these might be his final days playing the game he loves in his hometown. He will become a restricted free agent at the end of the month. He said he hasn’t given his future much thought, what with the Lakers playing in the NBA Finals.
The 6-foot-2 point guard acknowledged the other day that his Lakers career could be near an end as the team chases its second straight title. He hasn’t been a great fit in the Lakers’ triangle offense and the triangle hasn’t been a great fit for him either.
It’s uncertain what will happen next for Farmar.
“I’m a few days away from my contract being up and it’s time to think about what’s next,” Farmar said on the eve of Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. “Right now, I’ve tried to do my best to stay as focused as possible.
“My heart and soul is into trying to help this team win another championship. I feel we’re the best team in the world, and we play eight players and I’m one of them. I’m trying to really do the best for my role.”
At times, Farmar has been a solid backup for Derek Fisher. At others, he has struggled in the role, averaging five points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the playoffs. He averaged 7.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the regular season.
The triangle differs from the pick-and-roll based offenses run by most teams in the NBA. Instead of using one guard out front and allowing him to break down defenses with drives to the basket, the Lakers spend more time passing the ball than dribbling.
In addition, the Lakers’ second unit doesn’t run set plays designed for any one player. The Lakers’ starters often drop the ball into Kobe Bryant’s hands and let him create shots for himself or teammates if he’s double-teamed.
Farmar has chafed under the Lakers’ system and the second unit struggled as often as it succeeded this season. The glory days of the so-called Bench Mob were a distant memory as Lakers coach Phil Jackson shortened his rotation in the playoffs.
Farmar has plenty of motivation to finish the Finals as well as possible. A good showing in the remaining games could leave a good impression on general managers around the league, including Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers.
“Next weekend I’ll start worrying about that,” Farmar said of his future. “What happens in this week is going to make a big difference and determine (what happens in free agency). It’s a big week for me and (Sunday) is going to be a big game.
“Everything will take care of itself. I’ve always lived my life that way.”
Farmar declined to say if he was determined to sign elsewhere or whether he hoped to re-sign with the Lakers, who drafted him with the 26th overall pick out of UCLA in 2006 after a stellar career at Taft of Woodland Hills.
“I’ll deal with that when it comes,” he said when asked for his signing preference. “I want to do what’s best for my career.”