Chris Kaman lets his frustrations out

March, 25, 2014
Mar 25
9:58
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- On Tuesday when the Los Angeles Lakers faced the New York Knicks, Chris Kaman started in place of Pau Gasol, who was still suffering lingering effects from his bout with vertigo.

While Gasol's symptoms include dizziness and nausea, it was Kaman who made it sound as if he has felt uneasy all season.

[+] EnlargeChris Kaman
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY SportsChris Kaman got some playing time Tuesday night, but before then he had played a total of four minutes in the previous 12 games.
"It's been a tough year for everybody," Kaman said before the game. "It's been frustrating for everybody, including the management, down to the players to the guys who are doing the laundry. It's not been easy for anybody."

While the 11-year veteran tried to bite his tongue, saying "it doesn't get anybody anywhere" to complain to the media, he couldn't help but reveal that he hasn't spoken to Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni in three weeks.

In that time, he collected 10 straight DNPs and played a grand total of four minutes in 12 games.

Does the former All-Star regret his decision to sign with the Lakers last summer?

"My bad on my part not doing due diligence enough to look into a situation better and style of play and that kind of thing," Kaman said.

Kaman toed the line, but kept things professional, allowing that while D'Antoni's system might not be the best fit for him, it still has its merits.

"I won't knock the style of play, because I think it's worked for Coach in the past and he's had some teams with great success [to show] for it," Kaman said. "I just think sometimes when you have certain players that can really play the game of basketball, you cater to their style. But I don't think that's always the case. But also as the head coach, that's a decision you make based on the tools you've been given and it's his job to do the best he can with it.

"I can just keep beating it up and beating it up, but I think everybody at this point is frustrated and kind of just trying to finish strong the best way we can and see where it leads us."

Kaman finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes in the Lakers' 127-96 rout of the Knicks.

D'Antoni, who predicted before the game that Kaman would play well, said afterward that just because the big man hadn't been playing in games, doesn't mean he hadn't been playing basketball at all.

"He plays everyday, but he doesn't play in a game," D'Antoni said. "You can practice."

Kaman took exception to D'Antoni's logic.

"As of lately, we haven't had a lot of practices just because we haven't had a lot of days with time in between the games enough to practice," Kaman said, adding that when the Lakers have practiced, it's usually been only halfcourt 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 because of all the team's injuries.

While Kaman seems to have a point about the lack of practice time available, who knows if going to a more post-oriented game plan would have really mattered this season. With Kobe Bryant playing only six games, Steve Nash playing only 11 and a slew of players spending time on the inactive list, the season seemed almost "star-crossed," as D'Antoni described it Tuesday.

"This year has been tough with injuries," Kaman said. "There's been so many guys that have gone down that no one ever thought it would go the way it went. I think all of you guys would have bet your entire paychecks for the year if you would have said that Xavier Henry was going to play point guard at some point and time this season, not that he's not any good, just the fact that he's like a 2-3 in this league and never a point. I would have bet my paycheck, I think. Even though you don't bet on basketball."

You also probably wouldn't have bet that the answer to the question of which Lakers player had the most made field goals in a single game this season with 13 is Kaman, either.

"It's been an interesting season with injuries and positioning and the lineups," Kaman said. "It's been kind of crazy."

The insanity will end soon.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
24.6 4.9 1.4 35.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.3
AssistsK. Bryant 4.9
StealsR. Price 1.4
BlocksE. Davis 1.2