If you ever watched the movie “The Replacements” there is a line that says “you guys have been given something that every athlete dreams of: a second chance”. That movie was about football, but for former North Carolina basketball player Kendall Marshall that line fits to a T. And his second chance comes in a city where movies are made… Los Angeles!
From a star on a college team that had not one, not two, not three, but four players go in the first round in the National Basketball Association, himself and another as lottery picks, to being cut after a season, Marshall is now going to be a starter in one of the more storied franchises of the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers. A franchise that has another Tar Heel in the front office in Mitch Kupchak, who I wrote about a while back.
Sure, the point guard gets his shot at being the starting floor general for the squad due to many, but many, injuries. On the other hand all of that does not matter, what matters now is what he does with the opportunity afforded to him. And let’s not make any mistake, the Lakers are not the world champions of a while back, they are not even looking like a playoff team at this point, with a 13 and 19 record and 13th in the Western Conference.
This is not a cozy job that Marshall is walking into, there is no Magic or Kareem or Shaq or anything other of the former stars coming out of the locker room to pass the ball to. There is not even a healthy Kobe at the moment. The franchise from Tinsel town right now are a full blown out mess. So what Marshall finds himself in right now is either being part of the solution or part of the problem for the 2013-14 campaign. The good thing, now it’s all up to him to see on which side of the fence he lands on.
It's official: Kendall Marshall starts at point guard for Lakers tomorrow vs. Utah. He'll be their sixth starting PG this season.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 2, 2014
It is going to be a tough spot for the 22 year old, who has only played in four games since being signed by the Lakers. Now, Marshall will not only be playing, he will be starting for the squad, something that probably not even he would have thought possible after being cut and out of the Association just before the start of the season. Is this the ideal spot for number 12 to be in? Probably not, but when in life you are given a second chance you do not really focus on how good or bad it is, you focus on how to make the most of it. If Marshall can do that he might just be able to find himself a needed piece with the Lakers for years to come.