Jordan Hill Is Proving to Be Definitive X-Factor for Los Angeles Lakers

I've been a fan of Jordan Hill ever since he first donned the Purple and Gold in the spring of 2012—and not just because I'm a lifelong Angeleno who grew up with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Though, to be sure, I probably wouldn't know or care all that much about Hill's on-court exploits if not for the details of my own biography.

But there have been plenty of Lakers who've come before Hill (and some since) that have drawn more ire than praise for their play from the team's legion of fans. Kwame Brown comes to mind. So, too, does Dwight Howard.

Hill may not be as big or as strong as Brown was, or as athletic or as singularly beastly as was Dwight, but he doesn't need to be, because, for the Lakers, he's much more than that.

He's LA's "X-factor."

To be sure, that term gets tossed around far too loosely every time someone unexpectedly steps into the spotlight. That's already been the case on numerous occasions for the Lakers just nine games into the 2013-14 NBA season.

You could say that Jordan Farmar was an "X-factor" when he orchestrated the 76-point bonanza off LA's bench in a season-opening shocker over the Los Angeles Clippers. You could argue that Steve Blake was an "X-factor" in helping the Lakers exact revenge against Howard's Houston Rockets.


You could include Xavier Henry as an "X-factor," if only because his name starts with an "X."

And, because he occasionally does things like this:


(Did I just go out of my way to include a clip of that dunk? Better question: who wouldn't?!)

But, as far as I can tell, a true "X-factor" isn't someone who puts up big numbers on some nights and recedes into the shadows on others. Rather, it's someone who impacts the flow of every game in which he plays, who gives his team a boost in any way he can, regardless of how many minutes he's grant...

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