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Payton Costs Lakers a Point

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It might not be a stretch to say that no player has hurt the Lakers more than Gary Payton. As a point guard in Seattle, Payton always seemed to save his best games against LA. As the Lakers point guard, Payton played so poorly, he may have cost the Lakers a championships.Now even as an ex-Laker, Payton is wreaking havoc. After demanding a trade out of LA, Payton rescinded it, and now refuses to play for the Celtics. His failure to take a physical has cost the Lakers Marcus Banks and a second round draft pick.

Don't we all miss that immaturity?

Instead of Banks—whose upside made him the wild card of the deal—the Lakers will receive talented forward Jumaine Jones (left). Unfortunately Jones has never turned that talent into anything meaningful on the court in his five-year NBA career.

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What's more is that the Lakers are suddenly really thin at point guard with just Chucky Atkins and hopes the potential of rookie Sasha Vujacic learning the position. The frontcourt meanwhile is overly crowded with Lamar Odom, Vlade Divac, Brian Grant, Chris Mihm, Slava Medvedenko, Jumaine Jones, Marcus Douthit, and maybe even Karl Malone.