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Ball Don't Lie

Lakers center Robert Sacre was the only one without a number at the NBA’s rookie photo shoot

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

It's got to be tough enough for rookie Robert Sacre that he's still unsigned nearly two months after the Los Angeles Lakers chose him with the final pick in June's 2012 NBA draft, especially since he knows he's unlikely to see any shot at minutes in the middle thanks to the trade for Dwight Howard and the re-signing of free agent Jordan Hill, and especially since L.A.'s got the rights to 16 players for 15 roster spots (or, as Darius Soriano recently noted at Forum Blue and Gold, more probably 14 spots), putting him very squarely on the chopping block in the months before the start of the season.

But man, did the Lakers have to send the former Gonzaga Bulldogs big man to the NBA's rookie photo shoot in Tarrytown, N.Y., on Tuesday without a number?

View photo

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Welp. (Getty Images)

Well, um, look on the bright side, Robert — since every other rookie present actually had a number, you definitely stand out. That counts for something, right?

There's an explanation for the number-free kit, and according to ESPN.com's Lynn Hoppes, it revolves — as all things Laker-y do nowadays — around the Howard trade:

Sacre, who averaged about 11 points and six rebounds at Gonzaga, showed up at the 2012 NBA rookie photo shoot on Tuesday with no number on his jersey.

"Dwight took my No. 12 that I was wearing in the Summer League. I can't argue with that. That's what happens when you have seniority," said Sacre, who has agreed to switch to No. 6 for the Lakers. "I'm OK with all of this. I just want to get back on the court." [...]

And Sacre said he knows he'll get his number when he heads to Los Angeles to start training camp in a few weeks.

Provided, of course, this isn't just a really, really bad omen.

If it's not, here's hoping the Lakers spring for a new set of press shots pronto. If it is, well, then at least Sacre suffered it with a smile. Doing so might not make him as proudly hirsute as Quincy Acy or as Conanic as Kyle Singler, but looking on the bright side for posterity still makes him a photo-shoot champ in my eyes.

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