Antawn Jamison Has No Idea Why Mike DíAntoni Isnít Playing Him

The Curious Case Of Antawn Jamison

12/29/12 in NBA   |   natsaar   |   160 respect

Dec 5, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Austin Rivers (25) shoots over Los Angeles Lakers power forward Antawn Jamison (4) and center Jordan Hill (27) during the first half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Lakers defeated the Hornets 103-87.  Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsAs the minutes wore down in the Lakers Friday night game against the Blazers, there were two thoughts on everyone’s minds: they’re finally back at .500 and why the heck isn’t Antawn Jamison playing?
Even Earl Clark, who has played a total of seven minutes since December 13, made it into the game, while Jamison had has five straight DNP-CDs.
I’ve never been high on Jamison like some people have, but you can’t deny his usefulness, especially in rest minutes for other starters. However, apparently Coach D’Antoni is as low as a person can be on the player.
The veteran player was asked about his lack of PT and said:

 “Fifteen years. My only thing is let me know why. I don’t think you go from starting and 30-something minutes to not in the rotation whatsoever. And not explaining to me what exactly happened, that’s the toughest thing. There’s nothing you can do but be positive and support your teammates. The only reason I came here was they said I was going to play and to win a championship.”

If there’s one thing that doesn’t help get you playing time, it’s publicly complaining, but it’s easy to understand why he would. Who wouldn’t just want an explanation?
You have to wonder if he’s directly asked the coach about it though. If asked directly, “What can I do to play in this system?” it’s not likely that D’Antoni would ignore him, or shrug him off.
Jamison even admitted that he hasn’t talked to the coach, stating, “DNPs for the first time in my career. I have not had a conversation with [D’Antoni] about anything about the situation.”
That might be his first problem. If you have an issue, discuss it; don’t just take to the press and air out your problems. It will get back to the coach, and whatever the problem was before, it’s not going to make it better.
Jamison went on to say, “There’s a competitor in me that wants to compete and I know I can help the team. Whenever I get answers, I guess I’ll feel more better about the situation but nothing has been told to me why nothing has happened or that I did anything wrong.”
Antawn, you can’t get answers if you don’t ask questions.
The Lakers are typically a secretive organization, so at first people thought that Jamison might have had an injury, but now it seems like there may be some sort of conflict. Maybe Jamison isn’t as hard working as D’Antoni would like. This system requires fast, high-paced play, and at 15 years in the NBA, Jamison isn’t a spring chicken.
It’s entirely possible that D’Antoni doesn’t see a place for a tweener player like Jamison in his system.
Even when Mike Brown was around, Jamison wasn’t exactly a hot ticket player, coming to the Lakers for the $1.4 million veterans minimum and only signing for a year.

 “Everybody gets another chance and stuff. We’re playing nine guys and I’m really liking Metta [World Peace]. We don’t want to lose Antawn because he does what he does. We’ll see. Antawn’s ready to roll if we need him.”

He added that Antawn will probably play.
Based on that quote, D’Antoni could definitely be feeling the pressure of being the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and why would he want to mess up a good thing that’s winning games?
While Jamison’s 7.2 average points isn’t a huge reason for D’Antoni to play him, especially when he averaged 17 points last season, there’s definitely something more going on there.
Hopefully Jamison will get up the gumption to talk to his coach, and not just the press, because he can definitely help out this team, and he says that he wants to. 
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