Steve Blake: 'I’m extremely excited to be coming here to the Lakers.'
The Lakers' newest acquisition, guard Steve Blake, spoke as if he had joined the two-time defending champions, which, in fact, he officially did.
Blake was effusive in his praise for the Lakers while he met with reporters Wednesday."I’m extremely excited to be coming here to the Lakers," he said. "As a player who wants to win and has won championships at every level except the NBA, I think this is the best place to be." Blake, who signed a four-year, $16-million contract with the Lakers earlier this month, won a national championship at the University of Maryland in 2002. The 30-year-old said he was ready to play for the Lakers regardless of time or situation. "I look forward to coming in here, whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, and being productive," he said. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Blake would probably be a reserve, though it would be up to Coach Phil Jackson. "We expect Derek [Fisher] in all likelihood to start and play big minutes, but Derek is soon to be 36, so we know we need a player in the backcourt to spell Derek in relief and also going forward," he said. Blake has averaged 7.5 points and 4.3 assists a game while shooting 39.3% from three-point range in a seven-year career with Washington, Portland, Denver, Milwaukee and the Clippers. Blake will wear jersey No. 5 with the Lakers; and he also won a USA Today national high-school championship while playing for Oak Hill (Va.) Academy in 1999.
-- Mike Bresnahan