Lakers New Big Man Mo Bamba Tweets Out Frustration During Loss

Mo Bamba

Getty Images Lakers new big man Mo Bamba.

Mo Bamba could only watch from afar as the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Bamba is still serving a four-game suspension for an altercation with Timberwolves guard Austin Rivers. He’s missed four games but was inactive for one of those after being dealt from Orlando to Los Angeles, so he had to miss Monday’s game.

Bamba is expected to make his Lakers’ debut on Wednesday and can’t wait to get on the court, which he indicated in a tweet that he fired off with LA struggling against Portland.

“This the longest 4 games ever son smh,” Bamba tweeted.

It’s uncertain how much Bamba will contribute once he gets into the lineup but with Thomas Bryant now gone, he should be able to find some minutes at center. He’s a unique 7-footer, who can both block shots and shoot 3s. He’s hitting his shots from beyond the arc at a 36.0% clip for his career, including 39.8% this season.

Prior to the trade from the Magic, Bamba was averaging 17 minutes per game, notching 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Bamba Excited to Learn From LeBron James

The Lakers are hoping a change of scenery will be good for Bamba, who was the No. 6 overall pick in 2018. He’ll certainly have some good mentors in Los Angeles, including LeBron James, who he is eager to learn from.

“That’s one of the best guys to ever lace ’em up,” Bamba said. “I just want to be a sponge, and just soak up as much information and knowledge I can just gain from him.”

The Lakers are equally excited to add the 24-year-old big man into the rotation.

“He’s another young, very young, high-level player with a huge upside,” coach Darvin Ham said. “Our coaches are excited to get to work with him and we’re excited to add him into the mix.”

Bamba was part of a major shuffle by the Lakers around the deadline, with the team also acquiring Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Davon Reed.

“I think a deep dive into this, you can almost look at it as ‘pre-agency,’ ” general manager Rob Pelinka said. “If you really study the contracts of these five players, we very intentionally planned these moves to provide optionality in July. Some of these players have team options or team-controlled years on their contracts, which again gives us the ability to see how these last 26 regular-season games and how potential postseason games go.”

Lakers Had No Answers for Damian Lillard

The Lakers were without LeBron James against the Blazers but it was a game they shouldn’t have let slip away. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any answers for Damian Lillard, who finished with 40 points.

“Just try to do your best to make it as difficult as possible for him,” Ham said of Lillard. “Outside of stealing his sneakers, I don’t know what else you can do.”

The Lakers sit in 13th place in the Western Conference and are now 26-32 with one game left before the All-Star break. The Lakers need every win they can get at this point but star big man Anthony Davis knows it might take some time to find their rhythm as a group.

“Obviously it’s our second game together,” Davis said. “Still trying to figure it out.”

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