Report Card - Coby Karl
It's that time again! That series of posts recapping a player's performance. Lakers Blog report cards are a tradition dating as far back as 2006 (which naturally means they surfaced in 2007 as well). Remember, the grade isn't based purely on stats and/or production. It's also about the player's impact on the season, which is important to remember with certain dudes. Like the one kicking off this year's batch...
Report Card: I'll start with the season's highlight for Coby Karl: A March 12th game at Staples against Toronto, where Phil Jackson inserted the rook for seven second quarter minutes as a not-so-subtle message to his other guards (the message being, "Ya wanna maybe stop playing so crappy?"). But even taking into account his usage as a self-described "pawn," Karl responded with some very productive court time. And with those seven minutes relived, there's not much to much else of consequence to dwell on, unless you happened to live and die by D-Fenders results. Even by rookie standards, Karl didn't get much run. But his occasional garbage time made him a fan favorite (a "mascot" status he appreciated, but wasn't necessarily wild about) and occasionally flashed glimpses into why the Lakers decided to guarantee his contract in January and keep him around. He's also a hard worker with a good attitude. It's no lock that Karl will be back next season, but of all the free agents that barely played (Karl, Ira Newble and DJ Mbenga), he's the only one I think has any chance of being on the 2009 roster. And if he's not, it won't be for a lack of conditioning. As we established many time this season, dude would have been the top candidate to represent the Lakers in a marathon. For reals.
Final Grade: D-/Inc. (His actual impact merited an "F," but he got bumped up a grade for being classy enough to provide Mom with an exclusive interview. What can I say? I'm a softy when it comes to mama).