Jacobson asked L.A. for release

Michael Dougherty

Former Gophers star Sam Jacobson was cut by the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, ending his short stint with Los Angeles after playing in only five games in his career.
Jacobson initiated the move, according to his mother Sharon, because he was the third or fourth shooting guard off the bench. Plus, all-star Kobe Bryant is due to come off the injured list soon.
“Phil Jackson (Lakers coach) generally plays veterans and Sam wanted to be released to find a team where he could actually play,” Sharon Jacobson said.
She said Sam and his agent, former Gopher Rob Metcalf, have spoken with other teams but it might be hard to sign on so early in the season.
The Lakers took Jacobson with the 26th pick in the first round of the 1998 draft. He played in only two games last season and averaged 4 points per game.
This season he appeared in three games and averaged 3.3 ppg. He is in the second year of a three-year deal worth $2.16 million. After the 48- hour waiver period passed, Jacobson became a free agent.
His mother said he is preparing to move back to Minnesota. His fiancÇ, Jennifer Kneeland, went out to California this weekend to help him pack. Kneeland runs a business Jacobson owns on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. He could not be reached for comment and Metcalf did not return calls.
While Sharon Jacobson said it would be nice to see her son in a Timberwolves uniform, Rob Babcock Wolves director of player personnel, has said signing Jacobson is not likely because their roster is solidified.
Jacobson’s parting with the Lakers was on good terms, his mom said.
“If this had been Sam’s first year, he wouldn’t have minded being that far back (on the roster), but with the salary cap at the end of the second year, they evaluate whether they want to pick him up for his third year,” she said. “If he’s sitting on the end of the bench the whole season, that’s not going to happen.”

Michael Dougherty covers football and basketball and welcomes comments at [email protected]