Kent Bazemore, who cited his loyalty to Steph Curry during a dispute with Bradley Beal, turned down better money from the Warriors to join the Lakers.
Kent Bazemore went to bat for Steph Curry in his race for the NBA scoring title against Bradley Beal. But his loyalty didn’t extend to free agency.
On Monday, Bazemore agreed to a one-year deal with the Lakers, leaving the Warriors after one season.
Leaving one team for another isn’t a big deal, but the circumstances for Bazemore are a bit of a headscratcher. Per Shams Charania, Golden State offered him more money and a two-year contract, but he turned it down.
“[He] believes he will have a bigger role and opportunity to win a championship with the Lakers,” Charania said. “Bazemore is betting on himself.”
This comes three months after Bazemore dropped this line about Curry:
“If you want to know where my loyalty is, it’s to SC30.”
Kent Bazemore is leaving the Warriors for less money with the Lakers
Back then, Bazemore was speaking on a dispute he had with Bradley Beal of the Wizards. Bazemore made a joke about Curry’s incredible scoring.
“Forty-nine points in 29 minutes, that’s unreal. We got guys hurting hamstring to keep up,” he said.
The hamstring line was a veiled reference to Beal. The Washington star took offense and unleashed a series of tweets attacking Bazemore.
The turn of events for Bazemore is unfortunate for optics, but the Lakers are NBA title favorites with a new Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. Whether Bazemore will actually have more opportunities will remain to be seen.
The Lakers just signed shooting guard Wayne Ellington and are expected to bring back Talen Horton-Tucker.
Bazemore averaged 7.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.9 minutes last season.