During his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, Trevor Ariza was a big part of the Lakers’ championship run in 2009. When his contract expired, Ariza was hoping to re-sign with the Lakers but they had other plans.
Ariza feels like the Lakers organization didn’t give a damn about the contributions he made with the team. In an interview with HoopsHype.com, Ariza got a chance to talk about his departure from the Lakers.
You have been traded several times during your career. Which of those trades disappointed you the most?
TA: The most disappointing trade that I had is when I got traded from Houston to New Orleans. But as far as throughout my whole career, when the Lakers did not re-sign me that was kind of disappointing as well.
TA: I was disappointed because I felt like… This is my hometown, Los Angeles, we had just won a championship. Me helping win that championship… They overlooked that. I didn’t hang my head or cry about it. I just went to the gym and try to do the best for the team that I would play for the following season.
Would you want to return to the Lakers one day or after that experience you don’t want that?
TA: I just want to play basketball. It would be nice to play in front of my family, but if that doesn’t ever happen again it doesn’t matter as long as I’m playing basketball. I love playing basketball.
You have been with five teams in your seven years in the NBA. Does it make you a little cynical about how the NBA works?
TA: Well, as a player you can’t control where you play. As a player, all you can really do is play your best. If that is not good enough for one team, I’m sure another team will appreciate your game.
You have played for the Lakers, who are the biggest team in town, and then the Rockets and Hornets, who are not. Do you miss the attention you got as a player in L.A. as a Laker?
TA: I’ve never been one of those players who really cared too much about attention. Yeah, everybody wants to play on TV, you want to play on TV since you are young. Playing on TV, yeah, I miss that, but as far as attention… I never was one to seek out attention or anything like that. So no, not really.
Ariza, like most NBA players, is currently trying to find a job and is looking at the possibilities of playing for a European team overseas.