Max Christie: I Have To Be Ready To Perform When Name Is Called By Lakers

Originally published by LakersNation.com

Going into his sophomore season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Max Christie was hoping to be a rotation player from the jump, contributing to a team with championship aspirations.

Things haven’t exactly worked out that was so far, however, with Christie bouncing in and out of the rotation through the first 32 games.

Christie started the final five games of November for the Lakers but then was moved to the bench at the beginning of December when other players started to get healthy. Christie’s minutes have decreased since then with him playing one total minutes in the five games leading up to Thursday’s contest against the Charlotte Hornets.

With Cam Reddish out with a groin injury, Christie got another chance in the rotation against Charlotte and made the most of it. In 24 minutes, he had 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in the Lakers’ blowout victory while shooting 3-for-4 from the field and 2-of-3 from deep.

After the win, Christie discussed the challenge of being in and out of the rotation and trying to stay ready.

“It’s been sort of the story of the season for me,” Christie admitted. “I’ve been in and out of the rotation a bunch of times, and when my name is called, I have to be ready to perform. For me, mentality, it’s just being as professional as I can be, whether it’s my recovery, film study, actual work on the court. So I think the combination of all those things and the work I’ve been putting in allows me to be ready when I’m in the game.”

When he did get an opportunity though, Christie was focused on bringing energy to the Lakers.

“Well, definitely, energy. I want to bring energy off the bench,” Christie said. “I think just from me playing free and playing aggressive. I think the less I’m thinking on the floor, the better I am. I think today was a good example of that, where I wasn’t really thinking that much. I was just letting my body flow and my instincts take over, and when I do that sort of thing, I want to be effective on both ends of the floor.”

At just 20 years of age, Christie has shown a lot of maturity throughout the court of this season, staying ready for when his number is called and not pouting in the meantime. It will be interesting to see if his performance against the Hornets earned Christie more minutes moving forward, but he surely will be ready to go if his number is called again.

Max Christie discusses importance of playing defense for Lakers

One thing that Christie knows is that if he wants to earn minutes and stay on the floor for Darvin Ham’s team, he will need to play defense.

“That’s one thing I can always control,” he said. “Offensively, sometimes shots may not fall. Sometimes I may not get the ball as much, but defensively I can always control that. Most of the time I’m going to be guarding one of the best players on the other team and for me, just giving that effort on the other end of the floor gets me in rhythm. Blocked shots, steals, heavy contests and making them miss jumpers. Whatever that may be. That provides me energy and offensively, that allows me to flow better.”

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Going into his sophomore season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Max Christie was hoping to be a rotation player from the jump, contributing to a team with championship aspirations.

Things haven’t exactly worked out that was so far, however, with Christie bouncing in and out of the rotation through the first 32 games.

Christie started the final five games of November for the Lakers but then was moved to the bench at the beginning of December when other players started to get healthy. Christie’s minutes have decreased since then with him playing one total minutes in the five games leading up to Thursday’s contest against the Charlotte Hornets.

With Cam Reddish out with a groin injury, Christie got another chance in the rotation against Charlotte and made the most of it. In 24 minutes, he had 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in the Lakers’ blowout victory while shooting 3-for-4 from the field and 2-of-3 from deep.

After the win, Christie discussed the challenge of being in and out of the rotation and trying to stay ready.

“It’s been sort of the story of the season for me,” Christie admitted. “I’ve been in and out of the rotation a bunch of times, and when my name is called, I have to be ready to perform. For me, mentality, it’s just being as professional as I can be, whether it’s my recovery, film study, actual work on the court. So I think the combination of all those things and the work I’ve been putting in allows me to be ready when I’m in the game.”

When he did get an opportunity though, Christie was focused on bringing energy to the Lakers.

“Well, definitely, energy. I want to bring energy off the bench,” Christie said. “I think just from me playing free and playing aggressive. I think the less I’m thinking on the floor, the better I am. I think today was a good example of that, where I wasn’t really thinking that much. I was just letting my body flow and my instincts take over, and when I do that sort of thing, I want to be effective on both ends of the floor.”

At just 20 years of age, Christie has shown a lot of maturity throughout the court of this season, staying ready for when his number is called and not pouting in the meantime. It will be interesting to see if his performance against the Hornets earned Christie more minutes moving forward, but he surely will be ready to go if his number is called again.

Max Christie discusses importance of playing defense for Lakers

One thing that Christie knows is that if he wants to earn minutes and stay on the floor for Darvin Ham’s team, he will need to play defense.

“That’s one thing I can always control,” he said. “Offensively, sometimes shots may not fall. Sometimes I may not get the ball as much, but defensively I can always control that. Most of the time I’m going to be guarding one of the best players on the other team and for me, just giving that effort on the other end of the floor gets me in rhythm. Blocked shots, steals, heavy contests and making them miss jumpers. Whatever that may be. That provides me energy and offensively, that allows me to flow better.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!