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Category: Trey Johnson

NBA lockout: Trey Johnson conflicted about playing overseas

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For the last few days, Trey Johnson found himself weighing his future playing options.

He joined the Lakers as a late-season pickup from the D-League just before the playoffs last season and even impressed Phil Jackson enough to earn actual playing time. Even without an NBA contract and any official word from the Lakers on what his future would entail, Johnson still believed he'd retain a roster spot. Still, with the NBA lockout looming for an uncertain period of time, Johnson signed a one-year deal Wednesday with the Teramo Basket of the Italian League. 

"I didn't know if I wanted to commit myself that early," Johnson said in a phone interview Thursday. "I definitely feel like I'm an NBA player and that I worked hard to get to where I'm at. I didn't want to feel like I was giving up on that so soon. I don't feel like I'm giving up on it. It's just a situation where I have to make a business decision and do what's best for me and my family at the moment. We don't know how long our season will be or if we really have a season."

Regardless of how negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement turn out, however, Johnson definitely won't play in the NBA at all for at least one year. That's because, as ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin first reported, Johnson's contract doesn't have an opt-out clause even if the lockout ends early enough so that all or at least part of the 2011-2012 season remains intact. 

"I definitely wanted an opt-out clause, but they were reluctant to give me one," Johnson said. "A lot of European teams won't give you one unless you're a big NBA guy. We definitely tried for it, but they didn't want to give it to me. I just have to make the most of the situation. Hopefully by next year, I'll be a better player and the opportunity is still there for me in the NBA."

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D-Fenders to rejoin Development League and play home games at Lakers' practice facility

After taking a one-year hiatus, the Lakers' minor-league affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, will return to the NBA Development League, albeit with a change of venue.

The team will play its home games at the Lakers' practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center, in El Segundo, a switch from the previous routine of playing at Staples Center four hours before Lakers regular-season games.

The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported last year that D-Fenders games didn't generate any revenue from ticket sales because only people who had bought Lakers tickets were allowed to attend the games. Bresnahan also noted that the games often took place in front of no more than 100 people, though Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak frequently was in attendance.

During the 2010-2011 season, the Lakers used the Bakersfield Jam as their minor-league affiliate, sending rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter there on separate stints and recalling Trey Johnson before the last game of the regular season. But the Jam also was an affiliate of the Clippers. With the D-Fenders' return, the D-League now features seven teams with lone NBA affiliates.

"We're thrilled to welcome the Los Angeles D-Fenders back to the NBA Development League," NBA D-League President Dan Reed said in a statement. "The Lakers have been an outstanding partner with the NBA D-League for years, and their return further reinforces our growing significance to the NBA -– especially considering they are now one of seven NBA teams with a 'one-to-one' affiliation. We're excited about the terrific fan experience they plan to provide at Toyota Sports Center."

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Lakers Q&A: Trey Johnson discusses Mike Brown's hire with the Lakers

Photo: Kings guard Beno Udrih dives on a loose ball in front of Lakers guard Trey Johnson in the fourth quarter Wednesday night in Sacramento. Credit: Cary Edmondson / US Presswire / April 13, 2011 Below is a conversation with Lakers guard Trey Johnson, whom the Lakers recalled April 13 from the Bakersfield Jam. Johnson also had a short stint in 2009 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who signed him to two 10-day contracts. Although his role was limited, Johnson has particular insight in playing for both Phil Jackson and Mike Brown, who coached Cleveland for five seasons and recently was chosen as the Lakers' head coach.

You've been on both sides of the coin, playing under Mike with Cleveland and last season under Phil. How would you compare the two experiences as far as what they brought?

Definitely different guys, but at the same time, they're similar in how they run their practices. Everybody's accountable from a standpoint that you have to hold yourself accountable. I don't think the atmosphere will change much in the sense of it being a professional mindset and you get your work in. But they're different. Phil is definitely a cerebral guy. The way he prepares for a game is a lot different than the way Mike prepares for a game. But you still get the same ending results in the fact we're winning games. Of course Mike hasn't won a championship as a head coach, but he was [an assistant] under Gregg Popovich and he has a great future. It was great. I saw two different sides of the spectrum, but they were both great guys and were winning guys. Both had great personalities. It's going to be interesting. Hopefully I'm part of it again.

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Exit Interviews: Phil Jackson, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Luke Walton, Joe Smith, Devin Ebanks, Derrick Caracter and Trey Johnson

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Lakers forward Lamar Odom

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Lakers Q&A: Trey Johnson expresses confidence he can make an NBA team

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This is the seventh post in an occasional series of Q&As with a member of the Lakers organization.

Below is a recent conversation with Lakers backup guard Trey Johnson, whom the Lakers recalled April 13 from the Bakersfield Jam. He is on the team's playoff roster, and he scored six points on  two-for-three shooting in 13 minutes in the Lakers' season-finale against Sacramento and then had three points on one-for-two shooting in the Lakers' 109-100 Game 1 loss to the New Orleans Hornets.

How has everything gone for you since joining the Lakers?

It's been great. It's everything that you dreamed and worked for. You realize the dream and I'm doing that right now. I've been in the NBA before and with the Lakers in camp before, so I knew what to expect in the sense of this is a very storied organization and top-of-the-line organization. Guys like Kobe, D-Fish, Lamar and Phil Jackson, I know there's a lot that they expect and they're going to hold you accountable for every action on and off the floor.

I already know how to come into this situation and handle myself and be a professional and come in and learn and help the team in whatever I can. It's definitely a winning culture. When I say winning, it's every aspect in the word, from the front office guys, scouts, coaching staff and players. Everything has high expectations and it's expected to happen through the hard work that's put in with building this organization from the ground up. Even when Magic was brought in, they brought in the right type of guys. These guys are winners. They have the will and desire to win.

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