A little over 4 years ago since he played his last game for the team, it is being reported that Antawn Jamison is being added to the Lakers scouting department. Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports has the report:
The Los Angeles Lakers plan to hire two-time NBA All-Star Antawn Jamison in a scouting role, league sources told The Vertical.
Jamison, 41, will work in the scouting department under Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, general manager Rob Pelinka and assistant general manager Jesse Buss, league sources said.
First, I’d be interested in knowing what type of scout Jamison will be. Remember, it was reported back in early May that the Lakers planned to revamp their scouting department. The team was going to add to its international scouting numbers and also bring on scouts who would focus on current NBA players. Will Jamison work on the pro side? The college side?
This part of the equation is not yet known, but I think an argument could be made he could excel in either area. Beyond the “basketball is basketball” mindset that some might carry, Jamison’s history as both a fantastic college player and a very good, long tenured NBA veteran who recently retired could aid him in either path.
If looking at the pro side, Jamison only retired in 2014 and while the league has changed a fair amount since then, he’s still likely to have some touch-points with the league and familiarity with current players. Also, Jamison’s style of play — a stretchy combo forward — is the exact direction the league has moved to in recent years. One could even argue Jamison would thrive even more in today’s NBA than the era he came up in. Could this help him scout current players?
On the college side, Jamison’s UNC roots and performance as a national player of the year who then had an All-Star level career in the pros certainly gives him insight into the college game and how certain skills translate to the next level. Whether that background could help him discern and pick out players who could turn into good professionals is unknown, but his own experiences shouldn’t hurt him in this area.
In any event, Jamison’s hiring does signal the commitment to growing and expanding the team’s front office. As we’ve discussed before, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have purged a fair amount of FO personnel since they took over last season. Many of those positions have been filled, but their promise to grow their ranks means there are more positions to be had. Jamison’s hire fits in here. Best of luck to him as he starts this new phase of his basketball career.