Jordan Farmar held up his familiar No. 1 gold Lakers jersey and posed for the cameras with a smile that stretched from ear to ear on Friday. The Farmar ears were back.
Shortly after noon, the 26-year-old from Woodland Hills discussed his experience away from the Lakers and his decision to return to the team that drafted him 26th overall in 2006.
The former UCLA Bruin appeared elated at his return to Los Angeles despite self-imposing a significant financial hit to broker the deal. Farmar was one-year into his three-year, $10.5 million contract in Turkey. He forfeited the last two years of his contract and accepted $884,293 for one-year with the Lakers. Financially, the decision didn’t seem to make sense, but mentally, Farmar appeared comfortable to be back stateside and in Los Angeles.
“This decision wasn’t really financial,” Farmar confirmed on Friday.
The buyout negotiations were not straightforward once Farmar revealed his interest in returning to the Lakers.
“Something that may seem very simple was not very simple,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said regarding the buyout. “In fact, it was pretty complicated. But it would not have taken place had Jordan (Farmar) not been so aggressive and business-like in his approach.”
With the deal finalized, Farmar expressed excitement about playing in Mike D’Antoni’s screen and roll offense. Farmar revealed that he “dreamed of playing in Mike D’Antoni’s system” when he originally entered the league, and he was comfortable with the philosophy.
“Screen and roll, we did a lot of that in Jersey [with the Nets],” Farmar said to express his comfort level with the Lakers’ offense. “All we did overseas was pick and roll.”
Ultimately, the Lakers were fortunate Farmar decided to come back, and he falls in line with the Lakers’ other signings, who have all sacrificed personal financial gain for a chance to play for the storied franchise.
“I feel I’m a much better basketball player now than I was in my first free agency,” the point guard concluded. “Now, I’m 26. I’ve been a few years removed. I have a family of my own, and basketball-wise, I’ve gotten so many difference experiences since I left here. I think I’m much more prepared to deal with it this time around. I’m excited to get out there.”