CHARLOTTE — As he snuck in a rare visit back home, Antawn Jamison received a visual reminder Friday of what life may be like had he chosen a more lucrative offer this offseason with the Charlotte Bobcats
He’d spend more time with his four children, including Alexis (12), Kathryn 7, Antwan (6) and Rucker (3). On Friday, he ate breakfast with them before driving them to school. But with his children’s encouragement, Jamison signed a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum worth $1.4 million this offseason with the Lakers in hopes to win his first NBA championship in 15 seasons.
Nothing has gone according to plan. The Lakers (24-27) are currently scrapping for a playoff seed. Jamison was expected to experience a slight dropoff in his career-average 19.5 points per game. Few anticipated Jamison averaging only 8.1 points per game, though. Even fewer predicted Jamison’s fluctuating bench role would entail sitting for seven consecutive games.
Does he regret his decision?
“Even though we are where we are right now, at least I got this opportunity,” Jamison said. “It could’ve been, ‘What if I had an opportunity and I didn’t take advantage of it?’ It always would’ve been in the back of my mind.”
Despite the Lakers’ persistent losing, it still beats the Bobcats’ (11-38) fortunes. They remain the NBA’s worst team after losing to the Lakers 100-93 Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena despite having a 20-point lead.
“That would’ve driven me crazy too,” said Jamison, who scored 9 nine points and played through a sore right ankle. “I would definitely take this over that. But there have been times I’m like, “Man, I miss those footsteps coming up and down the steps and them jumping up on the bed.”
Jamison will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason where he will have to answer the same question about his future. Although he insisted he hasn’t leaned one way, Jamison suggested his sentiments have changed.
“The most important thing for me right now is family and being around them,” Jamison said. “They’re at the stage where they know what I do, but you still want to be there with them as they go through a lot of things in life right now. If anything, that will play a big part of my decision as far as what I do and if I can be away from them another year.”
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