Steve Blake


2010-11 (#5) 79 4 2
2011-12 53 5.2 1.6
2012-13 45 7.3 2.9
2013-14 27 9.5 3.8

Guard, #5


After spending one season with the Clippers, Blake signed a four-year deal with the Lakers after the 2009-10 season. Blake’s signing initially was a backup move in case the Lakers were unable to re-sign starting guard Derek Fisher (the team signed Fisher weeks later).

Blake got off to a fast start with the Lakers, hitting the game-winning shot in the season opener and averaging 47.8% from three-point range over the first month of the 2010-11 season. However, his offensive numbers and playing time dropped as the season continued. The 6-foot-3 guard out of Maryland appeared in 79 games off the bench averaging 4.0 points per game.

"I never felt like I got to playing the best that I could be," said Blake in an interview with The Times. "I can't really explain why. But I was comfortable. I loved my teammates, loved my coaches. But I never found my stride and continued in it."

Blake also contracted chickenpox before the start of 2011 playoffs, prompting concerns other players, including Kobe Bryant (who has never had the disease), could be infected with the virus. Blake missed three games because of the ailment.

Blake's playing time steadily increased over the next two seasons, but, like the team, he had a disappointing 2012-13 campaign when an abdominal strain and subsequent surgery forced him to miss 37 games. He also suffered a right hamstring injury in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the San Antonio Spurs, which forced him to sit out the series' final two games. Despite this, Blake posted his highest game averages for points (7.3) and assists (4.4) since joining the Lakers.

After getting off to a steady start in 2013-14, Blake was sidelined for much of early portion of the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. With the Lakers’ hopes of making the playoffs quickly fading, Blake, who was in the final year of his contract with the team, began to be the subject of trade rumors. He was in his warmups ready to play in his sixth game back from injury when he learned he had been traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore. After the deal was announced, Lakers star Kobe Bryant posted on Twitter that he “was not cool” with Blake being traded. Bryant called Blake one of his closest teammates.

— Austin Knoblauch
May 20, 2014