After he took a paycut to play one season for the veteran’s minimum in hopes of winning his first NBA championship, it’s unlikely Antawn Jamison will return to the Lakers.
He will become an unrestricted free agent at 9:00 p.m. tonight with a much different mindset than he had last season. Although he hasn’t held regrets playing with the Lakers for $1.4 million as opposed to the Charlotte Bobcats in what would’ve been a three-year, $10 million deal, Jamison isn’t intent on duplicating that process for various reasons.
The 15-year NBA veteran hopes to play somewhere near his Charlotte residence so he can spend more time with his four children, including Alexis (12), Kathryn 7, Antawn Jr. (6) and Rucker (3). Jamison will likely command more money on the open market considering he made $15.1 million in the 2011-12 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He tired of the endless in-fighting among the Lakers locker room. And partly stemmed from sitting out for six consecutive games, Jamison didn’t have the best relationship with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. Jamison had also skipped his initial exit meeting, though he attended at a later time.
Jamison averaged 9.4 points on 46.4 percent shooting and 4.7 rebounds in 76 appearances, a severe dropoff in his career-average 19.5 points per game. He also had offseason surgery to treat a torn ligament in his right wrist, an injury he nursed for the last month of the season.
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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org