Williams ponders his move

first_imgEL SEGUNDO – Shammond Williams now can admit that he sometimes questioned his decision to leave behind a starting job on a team that advanced to the Euroleague Final Four last season to sit the bench game after game with the Lakers. “I can’t lie to you,” Williams said. “I felt like being one of the elite players in Europe and coming here, I was like the only one that wasn’t playing. Everybody’s playing, and all these guys’ teams, I beat and with probably less talent than they had.” Williams had played in only 11 of the Lakers’ first 55 games this season before Friday’s victory over Boston. Williams was the first guard off the bench and finished with six points, four assists and no turnovers in 20 minutes. Lakers coach Phil Jackson credited Williams with playing a “very fine floor game,” and added that he would continue turning to Williams and Aaron McKie – the only two Lakers older than 30 – ahead of young guards Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic. “We’re investing things in our younger players because we realize they have great potential,” Jackson said, “but in the process we know we take a little bit of an experience hit because of it and right now is a time we need experience.” It was an opportunity for which Williams waited all season. He signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract last summer with the Lakers after spending two seasons out of the NBA, the first with a Russian team and the second with FC Barcelona. But Williams also was suffering from a stress fracture in his pelvis that limited his floor time during training camp. The Lakers settled into a rotation without him while Williams had to make his first priority recovering from the injury. Williams told Jackson early in the season that he didn’t want to stand in the way of a younger player’s development, feeling that he suffered that fate earlier in his career. Yet Williams added that he would welcome any opportunity to help the team. center_img He ran the offense well during his time on the court Friday, and said he wanted to recapture a sense of what the Lakers were trying to accomplish in the triangle. Injury report: Smush Parker sprained his left ankle and was unable to practice Saturday. He is probable for this afternoon’s game but joins a long list of Lakers suffering from ankle injuries. Jackson said neither Luke Walton nor Kwame Brown would make the two-game trip, and that Brown’s ankle was feeling better than Walton’s. It will be a month Monday since Walton injured his ankle, leaving him beyond exasperated with the situation. “If it’s not better Friday, I don’t care,” Walton said. “That’s as good as it’s going to get.” [email protected] (818) 713-3610 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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