Chris Kaman reiterates frustrations with role

Chris Kaman, the man of many words and unfiltered opinions had plenty to say regarding his frustrating season. Among the highlights

-Kaman said “for sure” that he would like to return to the Lakers so long as it was “the right situation”

-On not playing with Pau Gasol: “I anticipated that. I didn’t think that worked out how I anticipated either. My frustration through the year and me coming off the bench and not play for five games … I don’t think coach did any of that on purpose. Two bigs don’t fit into his style of offense. It might be a tough spill to swallow. That’s something more on my fault and I should’ve paid more attention going into this.”

-On Mike D’Antini: “I had my issues with me and coach. He knew I was frustrated and knew I was struggling through the situation. At the end of the day, we both came to an agreement that it wasn’t going to work and change around the way he was coaching. I thought that was part of the issue.”

On what changes Mitch Kupchak said the team will make: “They don’t have plans yet. They’re trying to finish up exit interviews with all the guys.”

-Said his strained right calf tendon will be fine with rest

-Clarified that he told D’Antoni that he didn’t want to play token minutes because it would be better for Robert Sacre to develop more so than his frustration with not playing. Kaman admitted, “Toward the end, I became a little unprofessional by the end of it.”


RELATED:


Lakers end disastrous 2013-14 season with 113-100 win over Spurs


The Lakers: Who’s staying? Who’s going?


Lakers notes: Kobe Bryant to begin training next week

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chris Kaman more diplomatic about Mike D’Antoni, reduced playing time

It took nearly a season’s worth of frustration riddled with injuries and reduced playing time.

But Chris Kaman has finally received his wish. He will start tonight with Pau Gasol when the Lakers (25-48) host the Portland Trail Blazers (48-27) tonight at Staples Center, a combination Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has resisted for over four months.

Kaman has shared his frustration on and off this season about his reduced role. But he took the diplomatic route this time.

“It’s a frustrating situation for a lot of people. Coach, for as much as he takes, I don’t think he has had a fair shot with the injuries,” Kaman said. “People might not agree with the way he does things or his style of play. But it’s not about that. Players have to respect that position to the coach. He is our coach. What lineups he decides and way he decides to play is based on what he thinks is the right move. We have to respect that. It’s not always easiest when you sit there for a while and not play. But I don’t think he’s trying to hurt anybody or purposely do anything negatively. He’s trying to do the best he can with what we got.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Mike D’Antoni unsure how he will play Chris Kaman once Pau Gasol returns

LakersÕ Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol watch the game during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, March 30, 2014.  Chris Kaman scored 28 points as the Lakers defeated the Suns 115-99.  ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

LakersÕ Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol watch the game during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, March 30, 2014. Chris Kaman scored 28 points as the Lakers defeated the Suns 115-99. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

The dread on Mike D’Antoni’s face told the entire story.

Chris Kaman had just posted 28 points on 13-of-19 shooting, 17 rebounds and six assists in the Lakers’ 115-99 victory Sunday over the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center, a rare feel-good moment for a player that had mostly become the casualty of D’Antoni’s system that calls for stretch forwards.

Kaman has only started in the past four games because Pau Gasol has suffered from vertigo. Kaman also lasted only five minutes in the Lakers’ loss Friday to Minnesota after playing sub-par defense on Nikola Pekovic. So with the possibility that Gasol returns sometime this week, where does that put Kaman? Immediately back to the bench?

“I don’t know. It’s tough because Robert Sacre plays,” said D’Antoni, who has preferred his defense over Kaman. “They play the same type of game and it’s going to be tough. I’ll try to figure that one out. Up until now, that hasn’t gone too well. I’d love for him to play. But we’ll have to see what happens.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chris Kaman voices frustration again on playing time

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, right, makes basket against Los Angeles Lakers center Chris Kaman (9) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Friday, March 28, 2014. The Timberwolves won 143-107. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, right, makes basket against Los Angeles Lakers center Chris Kaman (9) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Friday, March 28, 2014. The Timberwolves won 143-107. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

MINNEAPOLIS — Chris Kaman found himself back on the bench again, and new reasons emerged.

They did not involve Pau Gasol returning to the lineup. He still remains sick with vertigo. Nor has Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni gone back to his small-ball philosophy. Instead,Kaman lasted only five minutes of the Lakers’ 143-107 loss Friday to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center after seeing Nikola Pekovic scored eight of his team-high 26 points within that time frame.

“We tried to shake it up,” D’Antoni said. “We had a little bit of it, but by the time it was time for him to get back in, the game was out of hand. I went with young guys.”

D’Antoni was referring to Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre, both whom showed better defensive effort and likely fit more within the team’s long-term plans. Kaman signed with the Lakers this offseason at the mini mid-level exception worth $3.2 million, saying recently that he should have researched more about how D’Antoni’s offense would feature him before joining on board. Kaman also took issue with D’Antoni’s thought process.

“I don’t know if that’s a fair assessment of any player,” Kaman said. “It’s hard to go in for five minutes and not know it’s five and try to get a rhythm going. If I don’t have something going for five minutes, I won’t play the rest of the game and have a chance to redeem anything. He didn’t say anything to me about going with the young guys. But Steve Nash is 40 years old. He stayed with him so I’m not sure that’s par for the course.”

Nash posted four points and six assists in 15 minutes while Kaman had two points, a rebound and a steal in five minutes, 37 seconds. But the circumstances are different. The Lakers only have one traditional point guard in Kendall Marshall, who went scoreless on six missed field goal attempts in 15 minutes. Sacre (14 points on 6 of 11 shooting in 30 minutes) and Kelly (nine points on 4 of 11 shooting in 23 minutes) immediately showed more hustle on defense than Kaman did.

Kaman’s frustration hasn’t simmered after missing a recent 10 game stretch, nursing a sore right foot and missing the beginning of the Lakers’ trip this week to handle a personal matter. But he still had started the three previous games posting double digits.

“It was hard. The way the Lakers organization has us travel is a lot easier than a commercial flight. It’s a frustrating situation all around. Kaman said. “It’s hard for a player to know what to think, do and say. I’m trying to be cool about it and stay positive. But its definitely difficult.”

RELATED:

Steve Nash reports no setbacks in Lakers’ loss to Minnesota, but unsure about playing status

Kevin Love downplays talk about joining the Lakers

Kobe Bryant clarifies Trayvon Martin remarks

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chris Kaman: “It’s not like we’re out here trying to chase picks”

Lakers' Chris Kaman (9) powers a shot over Jazz's Derrick Favors (15) in a NBA Western Conference basketball game at the Staples Center Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Los Angeles, CA.  After a sizable lead, the Lakers trailed at halftime 48-37. Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

Lakers’ Chris Kaman (9) powers a shot over Jazz’s Derrick Favors (15) in a NBA Western Conference basketball game at the Staples Center Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Los Angeles, CA. After a sizable lead, the Lakers trailed at halftime 48-37.
Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

As they remain at the bottom of the Western Conference, the Lakers and Jazz have big-picture fortunes that may produce more clarity this spring.

On May 20, the NBA draft lottery takes place, an event so foreign to the Lakers’ championship fabric that they’ve only been a part of two of them since the system’s inception 27 years ago. Yet, with the Lakers’ 96-79 loss Tuesday to the Utah Jazz at Staples Center marking the team’s sixth consecutive home loss and dropping them into 14th place in the Western Conference,that scenario becomes more and more plausible for the Lakers.

Perhaps that marks the only silver lining for the Lakers, considering the never-ending injuries and defeats. But Lakers center Chris Kaman adamantly stated the team’s struggles represent a byproduct of never-ending injuries than a deliberate strategy to maximize the team’s chances at securing lottery ping pong balls.

“Everybody knows we want to win. It’s not like we’re out here trying to chase picks,” Kaman said. “That’s not what we’re doing at all. I don’t think anybody thinks that way. It’s just frustrating that the team that is trying to go for picks beat us by 20.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chris Kaman to start against Utah

The Los Angeles Lakers host the Chicago Bulls in a NBA basketball game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. on Sunday, February 10, 2014. (Photo by Sean Hiller/ Daily Breeze).

The Los Angeles Lakers host the Chicago Bulls in a NBA basketball game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. on Sunday, February 10, 2014. (Photo by Sean Hiller/ Daily Breeze).

After spending most of his time on the Lakers sitting on the bench and making teammates laugh with unfiltered opinions, Chris Kaman will start at center when the Lakers (18-33) host the Utah Jazz (17-33) tonight at Staples Center.

Kaman has appeared in only 27 of the Lakers’ 51 games this season, mostly because Mike D’Antoni has preferred Robert Sacre’s defense and Ryan Kelly’s floor spacing. After initially stating Kaman and Pau Gasol would have complementary offensive skillsets, D’Antoni also believes pairing Gasol and Kaman would become counterproductive.

But with Gasol out with a strained right groin and Kaman posting a season-high 27 points in the Lakers’ 92-86 loss Sunday to Chicago, D’Antoni will pair Kaman alongside Shawne Williams. D’Antoni believes Williams floor spacing and toughness could offset some of the defensive limitations he attributes to Kaman. For what it’s worth, the NBA’s trade deadline on Feb. 20 remains a little more than a week away.

“Chris has been playing well. Offensively we struggled a little bit to start the game so he’ll help there,” D’Antoni said. “We wanted to keep defense. Robert and Ryan were giving us a tandem of finesse and toughness inside. Now with Shawne and Chris, we’re still trying to keep the toughness and have finesse. It doesn’t change a whole lot.”

Kaman has averaged 16.5 points on 56 percent shooting and six rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench through four games during Gasol’s absence. Kaman had also started five games this season, averaging 11.8 points on 46.4 percent shooting and 9.2 rebounds. But despite the Lakers signing Kaman to the mini mid-level exception worth $3.2 million, Kaman has mostly played a limited role.

“The biggest factor was that Chris played 15 minutes in a row and he got a little tired,” D’Antoni said about Kaman starting. “We need his offensive output. That way I can start him, rest him and then put him back in instead of playing a long stretch.”

RELATED:

Steve Nash to play tonight vs. Utah

Mike D’Antoni still skeptical whether Chris Kaman will have a bigger role

Kobe Bryant still plans to return this season

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chris Kaman makes interesting use of Lakers’ empty benches

ku-xlarge

For once, Mike D’Anoni’s quest for small ball didn’t keep Chris Kaman on the bench.

His early foul trouble did the trick. But with the Lakers appearing to coast to a double-digit win Wednesday over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kaman took advantage of the team’s injury-plagued roster by literally taking all of their seats.

“I had my shoes untied. I was laying down on the bench because we had a really long bench,” Kaman said. “There was 30 feet of extra space that I laid down.”

But Kaman couldn’t get too comfortable.

Lakers center Robert Sacre also fell into foul trouble, while Jordan Farmar experienced cramps in his calf muscles. Suddenly, the man who can never seem to find time in D’Antoni’s rotation had to enter the game.

The Lakers’ 119-108 win Wednesday over Cleveland wasn’t easy, though. After entering the game with 9:19 left in the fourth quarter, Kaman fouled out nearly a minute later.

“I thought the refs, it was hard to gauge what they were trying to do,” Kaman said. “It’s hard to gauge if they want to let it go real physical some nights. Sometimes they’ll let anything go by and they’ll call everything. I felt like myself and Rob [Sacre], there were some fouls that were tough to swallow. I was trying to jump straight up purposefully not to foul. I was trying to get out of the way almost. But they still called them.”

Sacre wasn’t penalized for his fouls, though. He picked up his sixth foul with 3:32 remaining. But per NBA rules, Sacre still stayed on the floor because the Lakers didn’t have any other healthy players. The only downside, the Lakers would receive a technical foul for any time Sacre fouls again.

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Kaman said. “Anytime a superstar fouls out, you can take the tech and say everybody else is hurt. We want to keep him in. It is a loophole. There’s a lot of loopholes. That’s how it works.”

Lakers guard Steve Nash tried warming up, but he wasn’t on the active roster since the Lakers are sitting him on the second night of back-to-backs to preserve his body. Farmar had been icing for precautionary measures to ensure his previously injured left hamstring didn’t flare up again.

“I thought Farmar was iced down because he got to his minute number,” Kaman said. “I thought he’d come back in and be a decoy. I didn’t you know you could attack and keep a guy in.”

But NBA teams can, providing a reminder that perhaps it’s best next time that Kaman keeps his shoelaces tied.

“That’s the beauty of shoe laces,” Kaman said. “They can untie and tie really easy.”

RELATED:

Nick Young to receive MRI on twisted left knee

Magic Johnson said he’s willing to help Lakers with free agency efforts

Steve Nash relishes return in Lakers’ loss to Minnesota

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chris Kaman will be a different big man than Dwight Howard

The Lakers’ newly acquired big man remains a familiar name to plenty of Los Angeles fans.

But for those in need of a Chris Kaman introduction, he brings many different qualities than Dwight Howard.

First, the bad.

Kaman hardly fits the defensive prowess that Howard possessed when he won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award three in the past five seasons. Kaman doesn’t even match up to Howard when he was limited last season because of a surgically repaired back, and, the Lakers suspect, inconsistent effort led to diminished athleticism and mobility. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks let Kaman walk after one season partly because of his defense.

“Defensively I’m a completely different player,” Kaman said. “He’s an above-the-rim player. I can’t play above the rim. He’s been the defensive player of the year multiple times. It’s just a whole different style of basketball. He can just go up there and wait for the ball to come up to him and swat it. It’s completely different.”

Now, the good.

Howard has been considered the league’s best center because his athleticism allows him to overpower people. But Kaman bodes superior in his willingness to play pick-and-roll, post moves and reliable mid-range jumper. Not surprisingly, Kaman’s career 74.4 percent mark from the free throw line trumps Howard’s 57.7 percent clip. All those ingredients ensured Kaman averaging a career 11.8 points and eight rebounds and a lone All-Star appearance in his 10-year career, including eight seasons with the Clippers.

Those qualities should also help Kaman mesh well with Pau Gasol, who became confined last season to a facilitator role along the perimeter partly because of Howard’s limited mid-range game.

“I’m a similar player as Pau. I think I’m inside and outside like he is,” Kaman said. “I think he’s expanded his game as well. He shot some threes last year. I don’t know if I’m going to do that. But I think I complement his game well. We’ll see how it goes. Sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes things work out great. You never can tell what happens.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

NBA2K14 simulation predicts Lakers will miss playoffs

An NBA2K14 simulation has the Lakers missing the NBA playoffs. Photo Credit: NBA2K

An NBA2K14 simulation has the Lakers missing the NBA playoffs. Photo Credit: NBA2K

Anxiousness awaits for the Lakers’ training camp, and for what?

Very few tab them as NBA championship favorites. Uncertainty lingers on how Kobe Bryant will look after he heals his left Achilles tendon. Skepticism persists over whether Mike D’Antoni can lead these Lakers through troubled times.

That’s perhaps why NBA2K14, a video game that prides itself on comprehensive player analysis and credible game simulations, tabs the Lakers this season failing to reach the playoffs and finishing with a 35-47 record. Granted, NBA2K13 rated last year’s Lakers as the NBA championship favorites, and we all know how that turned out. The NBA2K franchise also may do its own simulations before the Oct. 1 release. I received an advance copy and performed my own simulation.

But there’s plenty of reasons to feel skeptical about the Lakers. Dwight Howard bolted for the Houston Rockets. The Lakers lost their best defensive player in Metta World Peace for the sake of saving luxury taxes through the amnesty provision. The Lakers’ offseason additions in Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Chris Kaman and Jordan Farmar bring some added speed and additional scoring. But on paper, it appears the Lakers don’t have enough defensively.

“This team just doesn’t have enough athleticism and speed to contend for a title,” said Clark Kellog, who offers analysis with Steve Kerr while Kevin Harlan serves as the play-by-play announcer for the NBA2K14 game.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email