Even with the Lakers losing Dwight Howard, they still managed to attract both a talented and charismatic center that will at least mitigate his void.
Veteran center Chris Kaman doesn’t have the same freakish athleticism that Howard employs when he’s healthy. But Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak praised his “underappreciated defense” and “versatility” ranging from pick-and-roll execution, mid-rantge jumper and ability to score with both hands. Howard displayed his outgoing personality by mingling plenty of reporters, telling jokes and always smiling. Meanwhile, Kaman came into his introductory press conference bearing a sharp wit and dry delivery.
Consider his initial reason for why he trimmed his beard after sporting a thick one since February, following a custom the Dallas Mavericks held in their quest to finish with a .500 record.
“Who wants to see me coming inhere as a Caveman?” Kaman said. “Actually, my wife made me cut it off.”
There’s plenty of other things Kaman has to adjust in becoming a Laker, in reasons beyond adapting to a team full of All-Stars.
The first order of business: Kaman needs to find a home. He sold his Manhattan Beach residence he had for five years a mere week and a half before agreeing to a one-year deal at the mini mid-level exception ($3.2 million) to join the Lakers.
If anybody knows a rental, let me know,” Kaman said, drawing laughs from reporters. “South Bay please.”
Can Kaman crash in someone’s basement?
“I’ll probably just find a spot to rent,” he said. “I have two dogs. It makes it difficult sometimes for people to let me use their house.”
It wouldn’t hurt if Kaman kept in touch with any of his Lakers teammates. After all, he has yet to talk to them about anything.
“I’ve been in the woods for like the last month and a half,” Kaman said. “No really, for real, that wasn’t a joke. In Illinois, I have some property I was out working on, getting stuff ready for the deer hunting season.”
That’s one of Kaman’s many habits that shows off his eccentric personality. He’s also shown interest in shooting bows and arrows and generally blowing stuff up. But Kaman also spent recent weeks in Hawaii, joking he has the “whitest tan.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org