It looks like it won’t take long for Ben McLemore to make his Los Angeles Lakers debut. According to head coach Frank Vogel, the veteran guard will be available for Thursday’s game against the Miami Heat. McLemore was just recently playing games for the Houston Rockets so he should still be in pretty good shape.
With Anthony Davis and LeBron James still out with injuries, the Lakers could certainly use some firepower. Andre Drummond will be returning from injury on Thursday to be there for McLemore’s debut. It’ll be good to have the guard see action quickly but the team shouldn’t expect too much from him yet.
Just ahead of the game, the Lakers revealed that McLemore will be wearing No. 7 on his jersey.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 8, 2021
McLemore wore No. 23 in college and during his first stint with the Sacramento Kings. Obviously, that number belongs to LeBron right now. He wore 16 in Houston and could’ve kept the number in Los Angeles as nobody currently claims it. It looks like he’ll be going for a fresh start with No. 7.
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McLemore Excited to Be a Laker
Getting away from the Rockets has to be a great feeling for McLemore. The once solid franchise has hit hard times since they traded James Harden. McLemore is leaving the 14th seed in the NBA to the defending champions. He’s looking forward to the opportunity.
“Obviously it was a great feeling, a great situation for me and my family,” McLemore said Thursday. “I think I made the right decision. I’m thrilled and happy to be a part of Laker Nation. I just finished shootaround, I’m trying to get acclimated with the guys and plays and things like that, so I’m ready to get started.”
McLemore has never won a championship in his NBA career. He’ll now be getting his best chance yet with the Lakers.
McLemore Looking to Bring ‘Spark’ off the Bench
The biggest reason the Lakers are bringing in McLemore is his ability as a 3-point shooter. He’s hit over 40% of his threes over the last two seasons. His numbers are down this year (33.1% from three), but perhaps a change of scenery will help him break out of the slump.
Frank Vogel has taken notice of McLemore for a while now and definitely took notice of him during the NBA bubble last year when the Lakers played the Rockets in the second round of the playoffs. The guard had a chance to talk about that.
“He just told me how much of a threat I was and that they obviously didn’t want me getting shots, and that he knew that I could come on this Lakers team and bring a big spark off the bench with my shooting ability as well. Obviously, that was a big reason and a big part of my decision,” McLemore said. “I have a great opportunity here.”
It sounds like McLemore is ready to get that purple and gold jersey on but he’s even more excited for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to return to the court.
“It’s another great feeling just to be able to play with the best player in the world LeBron James, and Anthony Davis and all these guys,” McLemore said. “To put on this Laker uniform is going to be something fun and exciting.”