From Los Angeles to New Jersey: Cheers to Starting Anew
On December 15, 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers sent Sasha Vujacic to the New Jersey Nets for veteran center, Joe Smith in a three-way trade with the Houston Rockets. After beginning his 7-season NBA career with Los Angeles from Slovenia, Sasha is now moving on with a different team. Sasha Vujacic first began his career as a Laker after being drafted in the first round in 2004 as the 27th pick.
Yes, emotions will run high among “Machine” fans after being able to watch him for 7 straight seasons. But in the light of the sudden trade, Laker fans every where are thankful for the time he has spent here in Los Angeles, a place Sasha has told me is “home”.
Of course after a player has stayed with one team for so long, there are always fond memories. For Sasha, Laker fans will always remember his undying passion for the game, dedication, and loyalty. Speaking of loyalty, during the off-season of 2008, Sasha led a number of Laker fans in a boycott to not wear the color green until the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics.
Some career highlights that fans can never forget include: hitting a game-winning 3-point shot against the Utah Jazz after Kobe Bryant fouls out during his first season, his crowd-pleasing dunk on two players against the Sacramento Kings, and of course, the two free-throws in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals to seal the Lakers’ 16th championship. But these are only a few of his many highlights in the Purple and Gold.
One of the main things Laker fans will never forget is Sasha’s humble personality. He is known for being a charitable, caring, funny, and personable individual. He cares for his fans and makes sure he maintains a connection with them.
Sasha, we wish you the best of luck in New Jersey! We hope you continue to have great success wherever you are and in everything you do. Thank you for the great 7 seasons with L.A. and thank you for sharing 2 NBA Championships with us. Your fans will always remember “The Machine”! Don’t forget that you will still have fans in L.A.! Until next time…
Here are some messages from fans that we received:
Luca from Italy: Ciao Sasha peccato non vederti più in maglia Lakers….ma bello pensare che che ti vedrò a Londra vs Toronto! See you soon! Mandi biel
From SV Fan: Sasha, thanks for your loyalty and dedication over the years with the Lakers. Stay focused and work hard and you will find a team that will let you start. Be aggressive and be the player you can be. Good luck.
From Taiwan: SO SAD. I’m Taiwanese, my English is not good, but there are some things I want to tell you. Today I saw the news about you going to the Nets, I feel sad because I think you are a good player. When you play on the court, you always play with enthusiasm and do your best. To me, you and Kobe are both my favorite players on earth. Lakers is the only team I like, but now I will like Nets too. I’m your biggest fan forever!!!! GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!
From Antonio Resendiz: Sasha, Thank you for all your hard work and for giving the city of LA all those great moments of glory. We are going to miss you and we hope that you come back to play for the Lakers again.
From Karen: Sasha, I have been watching you on the Lakers team & I am sad you’re being traded. I promise to continue watch you play for the Nets. Much “aloha” for you and your family. Happy Holidays! Best Wishes for the New Year!! Keep on, keeping on…
From Lou G: Sasha, I was very sorry to hear you were traded to the New Jersey Nets but please remember you will always have a big fan base in L.A. and will still be watching you. We look forward to your return to L.A. and hope this will lead to maybe even a starting position in New Jersey. I’ve been a fan for many years. Watching the Lakers won’t be the same without you on the team. I will continue to wear my #18 Laker T-shirt and would like to wish you only the best. Who knows maybe one day you will return to the Lakers! Say hello to Jordan for me. We love you, and don’t forget us!
From Rick Bolanos: I’m sorry you’re leaving Sasha, we’re gonna miss “The Machine,” hopefully it helps your career, say hello to Jordan Farmar!!! Take care
From JJM: Sasha, I wish you the best of luck, trade or no trade. Everything will work out in your favor in the end, Machine!!
From Eric: It was a great run while it lasted. Good memories of all those championships! Hope Jersey works out for you and your girl. Hang in there Machine and take care of yourself.