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LAKERS COMPLETED THEIR QUINTET WITH JAMISON
Tue, 24 Jul 2012 02:30 AM EDT

Antawn Jamison is joining up with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash to chase a championship with the L.A Lakers.

Jamison will sign a one year contract for the veteran’s minimum with the Lakers, a league source announced.

The 36-year-old forward will fortify the Lakers’ bench with scoring and veteran leadership while chasing the 1st championship ring in a career largely spent as the best player on bad teams.

He won’t have that problem with the Lakers, who will have Bryant and new entrant Nash in their backcourt surrounded by 2 unparalleled 7-footers – though their identities will depend on whether their clear attempts to land Dwight Howard are successful. Jamison also will be reunited with Coach Mike Brown, who was in command of the Cavaliers when Jamison was traded to Cleveland in the 2009-10 season.

Jamison had a few suitors for his services, including his hometown Charlotte Bobcats, the Nets and the Golden State Warriors, his employer for his 1st 5 NBA seasons. For a player who has never advanced past the 2nd round of the playoffs in 14 NBA seasons, the L.A Lakers’ chance to contend apparently was too enticing to Jamison.

The Los Angeles Lakers are the 5th NBA team for Jamison, who averaged 17.2 points for an awful Cavs team last season regardless of shooting a career-low 40.3%. He is averaging an impressive 19.5 points per game in his career, never scoring fewer than 15.8 points per game since his rookie season with Golden State.

Jamison could be a big upgrade to the Lakers’ bench, which frequently tried hard to hold leads last season when the starters sat down. Matt Barnes was the Lakers’ top-scoring reserve with just 7.8 points per game

Jamison has been a reserve just once in his career: During his only season with the Mavericks in 2003-04. Metta World Peace is likely to be the Lakers’ starting small forward, though Brown brought World Peace off the bench early last year.

Jamison generates his steady scoring from an armory of herky-jerky, off-balance shots, including a magnificent capability to shoot underhanded. He’s also a remarkably consistent 3-point shooter — hitting between 34 and 35% of his attempts in each one of the past 5 seasons — joining a team that needs perimeter scoring.  Betting lines

Bryant knows all about Jamison’s unique talents: They were Pacific Division rivals early in their careers, and they engaged in one of the most scintillating scoring duels in NBA history on Dec. 6, 2000, in Oakland. Jamison and Bryant scored 51 points per piece — Bryant’s career high at the time – as Golden State beat the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak hasn’t commented on the club’s interest level in Howard, talking instead about his interest in supplementing his addition of Nash with a few vet bench players. The Lakers will be well over the luxury-tax threshold, causing Kupchak to find new additions willing to put team success before financial rewards.


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