He vowed he would treat every play as if it were his last. He would show he would play aggressive on every possession. He basically would not leave any stone unturned.
Yet, Lakers guard Jabari Brown attended practice on Friday doing absolutely nothing. Not by choice, though. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak informed Brown on Thursday night the Lakers would sign him to a second 10-day contract on Saturday. Then, Scott could play both when the Lakers (19-50) play on Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers (16-52) at Staples Center and for their entire five-game trip next week with stops in Oklahoma City (Tuesday), Minnesota (Wednesday), Toronto (Friday), Brooklyn (March 29) and Philadelphia (March 30).
All of which Brown without anything to do at the Lakers’ practice facility for one day.
“Just watching,” Brown said, smiling. “It’s just one day. I don’t know the exact rules, and I don’t want to break any.”
Brown will gladly follow those rules, saying he feels “blessed” the Lakers granted him a second 10-day contract after averaging seven points on 57.9 percent shooting in 20 minutes per night through four games. That marked a sharp improvement from Lakers training camp when he posted a combined five points, two rebounds and an assist in 22 minutes through four exhibition games.
“I felt like I played within myself and the team concept,” Brown said. “I felt like I gave a lot of energy on both ends of the court. I feel like I can continue to improve with some of the turnovers and stuff like that, just being strong with the ball and getting into the paint. I feel like I can always improve.”
Though he found it an easy transition after averaging a league-leading 24.4 points per game with the Lakers’ Development League affiliate, the D-Fenders, Brown said the team’s offense mostly centered on catch-and-shoot opportunities and isolation plays. Lakers coach Byron Scott hopes Brown can also thrive in the pick-and-roll game.
Brown’s strong play coincides with the Lakers nursing an injury to Nick Young, who has missed the past 11 games because of a swollen left knee. The Lakers ruled him out for at least another week after a CT scan showed a small fracture in his left knee cap.
Once Brown’s 10-day contract worth around $29,000 expires, the Lakers would either have to sign him for the remainder of the season or release him as a free agent.
“You just have to play with a motor,” Scott said. “Playing hard is a skill. You have to do it, especially when you’re trying to make something happen. It’s an extra incentive.”