Things didn’t go as planned for DeAndre Jordan in Brooklyn, but the Los Angeles Lakers big man has already moved on from his time with the Nets.
The Lakers and Nets are the top two favorites to win the titles, Brooklyn coming in at +240 and the Lakers at +400, per Vegas Insider. However, Jordan isn’t thinking about getting revenge on his former squad, which relegated him to a bench role down the stretch.
“I don’t care about that,” Jordan said told reporters. “Like I said, I got a lot of love for those guys over there. So I’m not thinking about, ‘oh, I should stayed,’ I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about where I’m at now and my focus is here with this group of guys and I’m excited about it. Like I said, we have plenty of friends on different teams and you’re not thinking about how their season’s going. You wish them luck and wish them health, but I’m focused on what we have here.”
A 13-year NBA veteran, Jordan appeared in 57 games with 43 starts for the Nets last season. He averaged 7.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 blocks in 21.9 minutes, shooting a career-best 76.3 percent from the field. Jordan is the only player in NBA history with multiple seasons shooting over 70 percent from the field.
Lakers Still Figuring Out Starting Lineup
Jordan will get the starting nod in the Lakers preseason opener against the Nets, albeit both rosters will be without their top stars. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza are out for the Lakers. The Nets will play without James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin.
“The guys that are going to play, it’s really about our group,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said. “We have a mindset that while managing minutes responsibly and managing bodies for the marathon, that the five guys on the floor are going to play all out. We’re going to play harder than our opponent and more physical than our opponent and that habit is going to win it for us in the playoffs.”
While the Lakers will roll out an incomplete lineup for the opener against the Nets, practices have been intense early on in camp. And James commented on the “energy shift” following the disappointing year.
“You could definitely feel the energy shift a lot more in this season the first two practices compared to last,” James said.
Lakers Toying With Starting Lineup
Jordan has been working with the starting lineup in practice and could get the nod for the preseason opener. Former All-NBA big man Dwight Howard is another way the Lakers could go, although Anthony Davis is expected to move over to the center position to start the year.
“That’s the blessing of it, having a lot of different lineups that you can use. And I think each game is gonna have a say on what we do,” Jordan said. “We can be rolling with a huge lineup. And, you know, we’ll win with that. And some games may need us to go small. And I think that at this point of my career, of all of our careers, you know, at the end of the day, ultimately, we just want to be able to win and be able to achieve something as a collective.”
The Lakers have six preseason games to get some looks, with games against the Warriors, Suns and Kings.