Why LA Lakers Need More Guys Like Robert Sacre

Picked dead last in the 2012 draft, not many people would have expected Robert Sacre to still be in the NBA. Yet here he is nearly two years later, playing key minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers.

He also happens to be just one of three Lakers with a guaranteed contract for next season. The other two? Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.

The roster will need to be filled, to put it mildly. And the team could use more guys in the mold of Sacre. Not in an offensive juggernaut way—the backup center is anchoring the bottom of the scoring ladder at just 4.7 points per game. Yet he keeps motoring along, often playing while Chris Kaman watches forlornly from the bench.

So why is Sacre getting the minutes while others don’t? The low-post pounder certainly doesn’t stretch the floor like a typical Mike D’Antoni frontcourt player. Nope, it’s all about heart and hustle.

Per Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers head coach cares about the effort:

He works harder than anyone on the team, without a doubt, it's not even close.  In the weight room, on the floor, before practice, he's trying to make himself into a player. That's one of the reasons why I'm going to go with him and reward him—and then he's playing well. He's probably our best defensive player on the team.

For those who think D’Antoni cares only about putting the biscuit in the bucket, the heavily tattooed Energizer bunny is proof otherwise. In the same Times article, the second-year player voiced his willingness to pay back the confidence: "I know I need to get better. This is my job. This is my profession. If you were working on cars, you always have to keep getting better, right?"

Rightly put. Maybe this guy’s nickname should be “The Mechanic.”

Sacre originally hails from Ville Platte, Louisiana. His parents, Greg LaFleur and Leslie Sacre...

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