Devin Ebanks Preps for Life After Lakers - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Devin Ebanks Preps for Life After Lakers

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MORGANTOWN -

The Los Angeles Lakers announced earlier this week that they would not retain Devin Ebanks for his fourth season with the team.

The Lakers stumbled into the playoffs as the seven seed in a season that included the firing of Mike Brown as head coach and the hiring of Mike D'Antoni as his replacement. Throughout the year, the roster suffered a number of setbacks due to injury, but Ebanks wasn't looked to for any help.

His averages of 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game were both down from his second year with the Lakers and his 19 games played were the fewest of his career, despite starting three games of the season. He did not play in 63 of the team's 82 regular season games and missed all four of Los Angeles' postseason games in getting swept by San Antonio.

Much of the blame for his drop off in playing time and responsibility stems from his November DUI arrest. Ebanks made it clear in his exit interview that he would shop himself around this offseason to find the right fit moving forward.

"I took two weeks off after the playoffs and now I'm back here in West Virginia working out and getting ready for the summer league," Ebanks said in a May interview at WVU's practice facility. "I'm a free agent this year, so I've couple of teams interested, so I'm just getting ready for that."

Ebanks believes that even though he did not have the opportunities he hoped he would when the Lakers plucked him off the board with their second round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, he has learned quite a bit by being able to watch an experienced group of players each day in practice and on the court in games.

"I learned a lot. I learned from all of the vets I had on my team, especially with the Lakers being a veteran-based team," said Ebanks. "As far as being in the league for three years, you pick up certain things from other players, certain techniques."

When he arrived in Los Angeles for his rookie season, Ebanks was excited to reunite with two players he knew personally in Lamar Odom and Ron Artest. The latter has since changed his name to Metta World Peace, and Ebanks feels that he's been a great influence in making him the player he hopes to show other teams he's become.

"Metta World Peace has probably been the most helpful as far as teaching me the game and helping me out as far as defensively and offensively and even off the court, showing me how to be a better man," said Ebanks.

Of course, when you think of the Lakers, you think of veteran Kobe Bryant, a player who wasn't so hands on with Ebanks, but still gave him plenty of lessons in the three years that they spent on the same team.

"Kobe, he'll show you more than tell you," Ebanks said. "He wants you to learn from him when you're watching the game and he'll come to you, ‘Did you see what I did here? This is why I did it.' Just to see if you're paying attention to the game."

Even in such limited action in games and with plenty of reason to be discouraged by his fall to the very end of the bench, Ebanks believes he has improved since he left WVU. He takes what he learns from the veterans and uses it as he becomes a veteran himself. Experience-wise, he is still essentially a rookie, waiting for the opportunity to make a real difference on a roster.

"I'd say I've gotten much better," he said. "Just with all of the professional help that I've been given in the NBA is implemented in my game and it's really helping so far."

Ebanks rejoined some of his old college teammates in Morgantown recently to put in work as he, Da'Sean Butler, John Flowers and others each look for their next opportunity in the game of basketball.

"It's great," Ebanks said of being back in the state where he played two seasons with the Mountaineers. "I wanted to come visit and see the new team and the coaches and basically the whole community at West Virginia. This is where I started, it started my professional career, so I had to come back and visit." 

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