In 2010, Farmar was frustrated over playing a secondary role in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, which didn’t suit the player’s game. His journey took him to New Jersey, where he averaged 9.6 and 10.4 points per game in two seasons, and during the lockout to Tel Aviv, where he reconnected with his Jewish heritage.
After he was traded to Atlanta and waived, he signed with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish League and lived in Istanbul, where he marveled at hearing the traditional Muslim call to prayer echo around the city five times a day.
“A lot of people can’t say they have that experience in the short lives we live,” said Farmar, who shared it with his wife, former UCLA and professional soccer player Jill Oakes, and their first child. The couple added a second daughter a month ago.
Seeing the world has helped Farmar see himself more clearly and recognize what’s important.
He followed the Lakers closely, staying up until the wee hours in Europe to watch them on TV. But not until Jackson retired and was replaced — by Mike Brown, who was replaced by Mike D’Antoni — was the situation right for Farmar to return to the Lakers, or for them to want him back. They paid his Turkish team $500,000 to buy out the rest of a contract potentially worth $10 million, and he took a one-year NBA deal for $1.1 million.
Reported by Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times