Lakers’ Gabe Vincent Speaks On Return To Court

Gabe Vincent, Lakers, NBA
Oct 26, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Gabe Vincent (7) plays for the ball against Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks ago, a brutal update was provided to the Los Angeles Lakers regarding the outlook of their injured players for the remainder of the 2023-24 NBA season. It was reported that guys such as Gabe Vincent, Jarred Vanderbilt and Christian Wood would be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

All three were expected to be regular parts of the team’s rotation, but injuries had derailed their season. Vincent had appeared in only five games as he was dealing with a knee ailment and undergoing arthroscopic surgery in late December. Vanderbilt has dealt with multiple injuries this season and Wood has a knee issue as well.

Alas, on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets, it was Vincent who defied the odds and was back in the lineup. Vincent’s stat line wasn’t robust, as he scored two points with one rebound, one assist and one steal in 14 minutes. But, his stat line was secondary to him just being able to get back on the court after a lengthy lay-off.

“I wouldn’t step on that court if I didn’t feel like I could help my team win games,” Vincent said before the game when asked if he felt ready to contribute. “Whatever the role may be, whatever the minutes may be, that’s not for me to decide.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Gabe Vincent, Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

On Sunday, Vincent came off the bench with 3:34 remaining in the first quarter, replacing Austin Reaves in the lineup. With three weeks until the NBA playoffs, Vincent will have some time to get back into game shape and prepare for what the team is hoping is a deep postseason run.

With Vincent back in the mix, it was Cam Reddish and Max Chrsite whom head coach Darvin Ham opted to remove from the rotation. It will be interesting to see if that is a permanent change, especially with the Lakers being so short-handed currently in the frontcourt.

The Lakers signed Vincent to a three-year, $33 million deal as a free agent away from the Miami Heat during the 2023 NBA offseason. His strong play during the 2023 NBA Playoffs is what drove Los Angeles to make the signing. Despite his tough first season with the team, Ham is still high on what Vincent can bring to the mix.

“The reason we brought him here was his competitive fire, his physicality, his point-of-attack defense, his ability to score the ball,” Ham said. “And just him being highly competitive in the biggest moments, him not taking a backseat to anybody. We saw the run he had through the playoffs last year with Miami. And just he’s a fighter and just he has a quiet leadership, a quiet toughness about him. So we thought that would fit well with what we have going on here already.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Gabe Vincent, Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

With Sunday’s win, the Lakers are now 3-1 on their six-game road trip. It will conclude with a back-to-back set against the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The plan for Vincent in those games is currently unclear, but he is confident that the team and training staff will come up with a good plan for him. Even if he does end up sitting out one of the games, the team is just happy to have him back in the mix in the backcourt.

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