A team going through turmoil can be the perfect chance for a down-and-out player to prove to both themselves as well as the rest of the league that they still have a place in the NBA. Jordan Farmar is trying to use the Memphis Grizzlies as a launching pad to reinvigorate his career, and in turn the Grizzlies are using him as a bandage for the gash left with Mike Conley’s injury.
Farmar signed a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies just a few weeks before the playoffs began. The Grizzlies were left scrambling after Conley went down with an achilles injury, looking for any type of meaningful production from the point guard spot.
To make matters worse, their other point guard Mario Chalmers also suffered an achilles injury, and was waived after it was determined that he’d miss the rest of the year.
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The Grizzlies took a chance on Farmar, undoubtedly impressed that a player with Farmar’s credentials was available. Farmar was an important rotation player for the Los Angeles Lakers during their championships in 2009 and 2010, serving as their backup point guard.
He left the Lakers after winning his 2nd ring, wanting to prove he could thrive in an increased role. He signed with the New Jersey Nets, and while his play was solid, he never established himself as a franchise point guard.
During the NBA lock-out in 2011 he played in Israel before returning to the Nets to finish out the season once play resumed. During the offseason of 2012, he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks and subsequently waived.
Farmar again turned his attention to overseas basketball, signing with a Turkish team. His contract included an opt-out at the end of each season, hopeful that his NBA career could still be salvaged if the right situation presented itself.
A year later he returned to the Lakers, with the highlight of his campaign being a game where he went 8-10 on 3 pointers.
The next season he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers and wasn’t able to cement himself in their long-term plans either. He had become a basketball wanderer, scoring new gigs based off the intrigue of what he could provide a team for a relatively cheap price.
From 2015-2016 he was again showcasing his skills in Turkey, unclear what the future had in store.
For all the bad luck the Grizzlies have suffered, their turbulence may have been the best thing to happen for Farmar in a long time. He impressed them after his 10-day contract was signed, and was secured for the rest of the year to help them in the playoffs.
Where Farmar plays next season is anybody’s guess, but this series with the Spurs can serve as an unofficial audition for Farmar to book his next job. Whether it’s with Memphis or some other team, Farmar wants to prove that he’s still the player who helped those Lakers teams win championships.
Sadly for him, Farmar has shot less than 30% in this series so far, but has also shot nearly 38% on 3 pointers, which is about his career average. If any team is looking for a backup point guard who can hit perimeter jumpers, Farmar is more than capable of filling that niche.
Farmar’s story looks eerily familiar to other role players whose fortunes seem tied to fleeting situations as much as their own individual talent. He’s proven that he can be a valuable piece to a winning team, but unfortunately for the Grizzlies, he isn’t the impact player who can push them to a series victory. He may have to view this series through the prism of resuscitating his career, because regenerating the Grizzlies may prove to be a task too daunting.