Elden Campbell's struggles continue. Or is there any way for the Lakers to get a rebate?
Fourteen games into his $49-million contract, Campbell couldn't be more lost, even by his standards. Worse than the statistics--6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds the last five outings and 9.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in 30.1 minutes overall--is that he is laboring simply to feel comfortable alongside Shaquille O'Neal.
"I guess you could say that," he said. "I'm just trying to find my way around the games. Finding my way in it, rather.
"It's nothing like I thought it would be."
He thought O'Neal would draw defenders, sometimes Campbell's man, clearing the way for the power forward to work against smaller defenders or have an easier path for rebounds. How great it would be, he figured.
How bad it has been.
"That's just bringing me more away from the basket than I like to be," Campbell said. "I hate leaking in to get to the basket because that brings my guy closer to his guy."
So instead . . .
"He's like a decoy," teammate Corie Blount said from the next locker, drawing a chuckle from Campbell.
Said Campbell, "I'm going to have to try to figure it out."