Jordan Farmar won two championship rings with the Lakers, but a lack of playing time and offensive opportunities were a source of frustration throughout his four-year tenure with the team.
Farmar was a star at Taft High, scoring more than 2,000 points in his two-year career (including 54 in one game) and leading the Toreadors to their first City Section title in 2004. He was also a standout point guard at UCLA, averaging 13.4 points and 5.2 assists in two seasons and leading the Bruins to the national title game in 2006.
After being drafted 26th overall by the Lakers with a pick obtained from the Miami Heat in the Shaquille O’Neal trade, Farmar appeared to earn a starting spot toward the end of his rookie season, with starts in the final two games of the regular season and all five of the Lakers’ playoff games that year against Phoenix.
But when Derek Fisher returned to the Lakers the following season, Farmar resumed backup duty and had his best season with the team. He played in all 82 games and finished with 749 points (fourth-highest on the team), 77 steals (third) and 225 assists (fourth).
After sitting out 17 games during the 2008-09 season due to a knee injury, Farmar played all 82 games again in 2009-10. But his number of minutes decreased from 20.6 a game in 2007-08 to 18 in 2009-10.
As he entered free agency during the off-season, Farmar seemed to indicate he was ready to move on in pursuit of a more high-profile role with a team.
“For my career I need to establish myself as somebody who can lead a team and play big minutes and be a lead guard,” said Farmar, who ended up signing a three-year, $12-million contract with the New Jersey Nets.
Still, Farmar’s days with the Lakers weren’t over.
Farmer rejoined the team before the start of the 2013-14 season, but was limited to 41 games because of injuries. He wrapped up his first season back in purple and gold averaging 10.1 points per game, but couldn’t help the team’s quest to make the playoffs.