Jordan Farmar Returns to the NBA (and the playoffs) to Ruin the Clippers

UCLA product and two time champion of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jordan Farmar, is back in the NBA after a year in Israel, according to Yahoo. The Vertical reported Farmar is going to sign with the Memphis Grizzlies this week as insurance for Mike Conley who is on the shelf for the next two weeks with an injured Achilles. Farmar, at 29 years old, is young enough and quick enough to provide ample help for the Grizzlies who have stockpiled Clippers players as a matter of habit: Matt Barnes, Lance Stephenson, Zach Randolph, Ryan Hollins.

Farmar, a backup point, was waived by the Clippers last February, a shock to the two time NBA champion. He barely produced with 4.6 points, 1.9 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 14.7 minutes. It was his lowest total of his NBA career.

Jordan Farmar Points (per 36 minutes) FG% 3-Point% Assists PER
Lakers 14,1 42.9% 37.2% 2.5 12.8
Nets 15.2 41.6% 38.2% 4.4 15.1
Clippers 11.4 38.6% 36.1% 1.9 9.9

Farmar was pushed out the Clippers revolving door to make room for Austin Rivers and at the time the move seemed self-serving. The coach’s son was a lottery pick failure in New Orleans. Farmar wasn’t great by any means for the Clippers. It seemed inevitable and reeked of nepotism.

Jordan Farmar signed with the Clippers in the summer of 2014 for $4.2 million. He replaced another UCLA point, Darren Collison, who had been a productive player for them but who jumped ship (to the Sacramento soap opera) for a lot of money.

“It just ended up not being a great fit. We both decided it was better off that we part ways. On paper, initially, it looked really good. It was different in reality. So that’s why at the end of the day, we both agreed mutually to go our separate ways.” (Jordan Farmar)

Let’s not rewrite history and put a bow on it. The Clippers and Jordan didn’t both decide. It wasn’t a mutual decision to go separate ways. It was an amicable divorce because one person got freedom (Doc) and the other person got money (Jordan). The Clippers had all the leverage. They made the decision and Farmar took the high road and let the Clippers off the hook because he was 28 years old and wanted to be employed again.

“I just never felt I had a real role. We talked in the offseason about what my job was going to be. The opportunity just wasn’t the same. It was never time for me to really ever get going and feel comfortable and feel like I had a place on the team.” (Jordan Farmar to L.A. Times)

It sets up an interesting turn of events in the first round of the playoffs. Farmar most likely will face the Clippers. The Grizzlies are pretty much locked into the number five slot and the Clippers the number four slot. Farmar will face the team and the coach that didn’t give him a fair shot (if you believe Farmar). It was rumored that Rivers was hardest on Farmar than anyone else in his short stint with the club and Farmar didn’t deny it.

Furthermore, action with Farmar in the game against the player who took (stole) his spot who just happens to be the coach’s son will add one more level of drama to this series that already has hate on their side with the Clippers getting rid of Matt Barnes via trade this summer and then a few months later making fun of the Grizzlies 50 point beat down by the Warriors. There have been a few playoff battles between the clubs and they simply can’t stand one another. Not that hate is a particularly rare emotion when it comes to the Clippers.

Farmar’s best years were when he played for Phil Jackson and was a member of two title teams but he hated the triangle, he thought it oppressed him. He went east to play for the Nets, had a solid stint in New Jersey, then returned to play with the Lakers under Mike D’Antoni. And then he went to the dark side: the Clippers. Farmar also had European stints in Israel and Turkey. This past year he played in Israel.

Whenever his playoff run ends, Farmar will be a free agent and don’t be surprised if the Lakers come calling for him to back up D’Angelo Russell. If that happens, they’d move Lou Williams to the two, as a Jordan Clarkson sub.

But first, there are the playoffs and the opportunity for Farmar to keep the Chris Paul no Western Conference Finals streak alive and in good standing.


photo via llananba