Los Angeles Lakers: End of the Reeves Nelson Experiment

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IOctober 22, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  Reeves Nelson #22 of the UCLA Bruins strands on the court against the Loyola Marymount Lions at LA Sports Arena on November 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  LMU won 69-58.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

This Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers parted ways with former UCLA forward Reeves Nelson.

Although it was expected that Nelson would find himself waived by the extremely deep and championship-ready Lakers, it puts an end to an interesting experiment that has drawn relatively little criticism.

The release marks a rough week for Nelson following the dismissal of his lawsuit against Sports Illustrated.

ESPN reported that the Los Angeles Superior Court found that the widely-publicized story "Not the UCLA Way," which profiled Nelson in a negative light for his erratic behavior, was in accordance with the American ideal of free speech and freedom of the press.

Nelson, who was dismissed from the UCLA basketball team in December of last year, has had a rough turnaround from the repercussions of his actions as a Bruin. The SI story is partially to blame for its highlight of Nelson's inappropriate and unruly behavior as the star player for a basketball program that prides itself on excellence.

Although Nelson starred as a sophomore, leading the Bruins in both points and rebounds and earning a first-team All-Pac 10 selection (when the league was still the Pac 10), UCLA struggled as a program from a particular lack of discipline. This stemmed from Nelson's resistance to the authority of Coach Ben Howland, which started to rub off on the younger players.

Nelson declared for the 2012 NBA Draft, but due to his history with discipline issues, saw a significant drop in his stock and went undrafted.

The Los Angeles Lakers took a gamble and signed him as an undrafted free agent, but ultimately did not see a future for Nelson in a Laker uniform.

The Reeves Nelson experiment if officially over.