--The Lakers' daunting starting group, led by Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, all too often last season saw leads in games slip away -- in large part because the reinforcements off the bench were inadequate.
Power forward Jordan Hill's emergence late in the season helped give the Lakers extra force in the paint, so the Lakers re-signed Hill to a two-year deal. Antawn Jamison, who averaged 17.2 points for Cleveland last season, also signed up as a free agent to give scoring punch off the bench.
"We feel we've made the team stronger in our quest for a championship," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said of acquiring Jamison, who was NBA Sixth Man of the Year with Dallas in 2003-04.
Jamison has started most of the rest of his 14-year NBA career. But that Sixth Man honor came with the help of a cagey Mavericks point guard by the name of Steve Nash -- the very same player the Lakers have now to help Jamison again.
It remains to be seen how much Lakers coach Mike Brown pairs Jamison with Nash as opposed to backup point guard Steve Blake. But Jamison and Hill basically will try to give the Lakers more at backup forward than Josh McRoberts, Matt Barnes, Troy Murphy and Devin Ebanks gave last season. McRoberts and Ebanks are expected back.
"For myself, I think this team has a great opportunity to accomplish a championship," Jamison said. "It's great to be a part of an organization where the only thing you work toward is winning championships."
--Free agent F Matt Barnes was arrested in Manhattan Beach, Calif., on July 30 on suspicion of resisting arrest for a misdemeanor traffic warrant.
Barnes was walking when an officer arrested him on a $26,000 misdemeanor warrant for driving on a suspended license. He was released on $51,000 bond.
A post on Barnes' Twitter page early the next morning read: "Oh.. For all you perfect people out there looking at me w/your nose in the air, who have "NEVER" missed a court date for a "TRAFFIC VIOLATION" God Bless You..."
Another post read: "Funny how a small situation turns into a "Urban Legend".. A $26,000 traffic ticket?? Come on now smh.. Have a good night"
Barnes, 32, played the past two seasons for the Lakers, and led the team's reserves with an average of 7.8 points per game.
--The Lakers' regular-season schedule follows their usual format of home games early because of Staples Center's need to stage the Grammy Awards in February. The Lakers are on the road most of February, including a season-long seven-game trip to Phoenix, Minnesota, Detroit, Brooklyn, Boston, Charlotte and Miami.
--The four Western Conference teams that the Lakers will face only three times as opposed to the traditional four are San Antonio, Utah, Minnesota and Memphis. The Lakers will make only one trip to face the Spurs and the Jazz this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I don't think I've ever been as excited for a season to get started." -- New Laker Antawn Jamison
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