Jamison And Clippers Play A Waiting Game

HANG TIME WEST – Asked if he expects Antawn Jamison to play anytime soon, Clippers coach Doc Rivers responded, “I hope not.”

This is a compliment.

Asked if he could have gone somewhere else with a bigger role – as in: any role – Jamison said, “Of course.”

This is a plan.

The Clippers signed Jamison for front-court depth, for his versatility to play power forward or small forward, as a positive locker-room presence and signed him for the dependability that comes with 15 seasons of experience. Most of all, though, they signed Jamison to not play him.

That was the blueprint from the beginning, when Rivers, also the head of basketball operations, all but told Jamison in August that this season would be life in semi-retirement. Jamison knew what he was getting into … or not getting into. He would not be getting into games.

The Clippers want Jamison fresh and able to contribute in April, May and June, so they rest him in October and November and probably for several months after that. He is healthy, but he is also 37. The blueprint will be followed: seven games into 2013-14, zero appearances.

“But I’ve accomplished just about everything I wanted to as an individual,” said Jamison, a two-time All-Star who also won a bronze in the world championships and won Sixth Man of the Year. “There’s nothing else for me to accomplish. For me, it’s all about winning a ring.

“With that comes sacrifice on my behalf and sacrifice for a lot of guys in this locker room as well. I knew what I was signing up for. From Day 1, whatever is asked of me to do I’m going to do it. This is the challenge – not a challenge. This is what’s asked of me to do right now. I don’t have a problem with it. As long as it’s for the sake of the team and as long as it puts us in a situation to still be playing in June, I’m definitely all for it.”

He thought he had a good shot at a championship as a starter with the Cavaliers in 2010, and that ended bad as part of what became the LeBron James farewell. Jamison thought, along with most everyone else, he had another choice opportunity as a key Lakers reserve in 2013, and it wasn’t just the ending that was bad. Now, the Clippers are his new best chance.

If sitting now leads to Jamison being the difference in a couple wins in the playoffs, the strange role will have been worth it. He will finally have the ring. With retirement on his mind anyway, the chance to celebrate his 38th birthday – June 12 – with a parade will probably nudge him to think about being able to go out on top.

“I’m still playing in practice,” Jamison said. “You’ve just got to see. My thing is, most importantly, I’m always going to stay in good shape. Mentally, just always stay in tune and make sure I’m ready when the opportunity comes. There’s little things I’m doing as far as talking to Blake [Griffifn] and [DeAndre Jordan] and those guys and making sure they see what I see out there on the court. But I’ve been waiting for this time for a long time, so whenever that opportunity comes I’m definitely going to be ready.”

Waiting for this time.

“The time to contend,” he said.

Life blanketed in bubble wrap means being healthy and sitting even with a bruised thigh costing Matt Barnes time in a hit to the front-court depth and with the Clippers keeping an eye out for another big man rather than have only Byron Mullens and Ryan Hollins in reserve behind Jordan. Jamison will get the occasional cameo to experience a game flow with teammates and stay in better shape, the difference between practicing as a Clipper and actually being one, as even Rivers and Jamison admit they aren’t sure where the fine line is between rest and rust. They’ll have to find out together how this works out. In the playoffs.

16 Comments

  1. lebranjomes says:

    “But I’ve accomplished just about everything I wanted to as an individual,” said Jamison, a two-time All-Star who also won a bronze in the world championships and won Sixth Man of the Year.”

    -man that’s maybe because you have low expectations that you are not a champion.
    2 times reserve all star ? BRONZE in the world championship ??? 6th man award ?
    the goat lol

    • yyyyyyyyyy says:

      Dont be a hater, jamison has had a solid career, 2 time allstar 6th man of the year, and he has made a bunch of money, superstars dont grow on threes man:)

  2. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    I wouldn’t jump to conclusions yet. It’s still early, but the Clippers aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot (like last season). I wouldn’t be surprised if they failed to make the playoffs, given how deep the West is.

    If you look at the current standings, the Clippers are tied with 4 other West teams for the worst record in the top 8 West seeds, if the playoffs started today. They probably should be 4 – 4. I don’t know how Kevin Love missed that easy tip-in at the end of that Minnesota game. Clippers got lucky to win that one.

    Luck doesn’t work in the NBA playoffs. Clippers are clearly not as good as they were last season.

    Dallas should be a playoff team instead of Phoenix (although Suns are off to a great start). Memphis should still be a playoff team instead of either the LA Clippers or the GS Warriors. I predict Clippers will be in the playoffs and the Warriors won’t make the playoffs. However, you could almost flip a coin on that one. Plausible that the Warriors could make the playoffs and the Clippers don’t. There’s no doubt about this: Portland and Minnesota are automatic locks for this season’s playoffs.

    • iii says:

      Are you kidding me? Clippers are a sure lock for the playoffs lol,

      They arent good enough to win a championship I predict a second round exit for them, They will land with the 5th – 4th best record in the west.

      Until jordan can make freethrows and griffin defend they cant win.

  3. Gillsy says:

    but as said in the article. One of the main reasons Doc wants him is his experience for the locker room. Someone mentioned Juwan Howard, he spent two years virtually not playing and collecting rings and this year he is playing the same position just getting paid in a different way. Hey if you can get the gig getting payed for not playing good for him.

  4. Jereac54 says:

    It would great for the Lakers to place Nash in bubble wrap until the play offs. And yes, they will make the playoffs and at an even higher seat than last year.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Good joke. Lakers won’t come close to the playoffs. This is the best they can play and they are still sub .500. The West is too deep. Now, if the Lakers were in the East, that’s a totally different story. Unless they move the Lakers to New Jersey mid-season, Lakers will be at the basement of the West all season long.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Although the Lakers somehow defeated the Pelicans, a healthy Pelican team is way better than the Lakers. They have a better chance of making the playoffs than the Lakers.

  5. Ballin for life says:

    He didn’t do too bad with the Lakers last year

  6. readers says:

    Its funny how you all are bashing him but none of you I mean NONE of you are on a NBA roster getting paid like they are. So I think if you can’t encourage a player then just hush, because your wasting your breath. Jamison can run laps around the rest of you scrubs out here. Believe that. Ask the person who tried to play Scalabrine from Boston!?

  7. Najeero says:

    Jamison’s role is nothin new. Several veterans, past and present have had similar roles.(Juwan Howard last season and even the season before). He has a good attitude though. I know that he’ll be ready when his number is called.

  8. lol says:

    Jamison can score some points but nothing of substance he is of no use to the Clippers, now that he is 45 years old he is totally useless

  9. A.J. says:

    What a load. The reason Jamison isn’t playing is because he’s awful. Plain and simple, end of story.

    Nice propaganda piece, though. Jamison has enjoyed having his rear-end kissed by sportswriters since the first day he got into the league. This fact isn’t exactly a secret, all anybody has to do is use Google. It’s been pretty outrageous. Their is one egregious example out there, find the story back when he played for Dallas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup. That one statement can basically summarize his career. Though Jamison has constantly put up big numbers, he hasn’t been able to do much with it. Now he is hopping prom one team from another in the hopes of getting, not earning, a ring