Jeff Eisenberg of the Press Enterprise wrote:
If he has any hope of sticking with the Lakers this season, C. J. Giles knows he must persuade the team that his promising future should outweigh his troubled past.
A rash of academic and legal problems caused two Division I schools to dismiss Giles from their teams -- Kansas in 2006 and Oregon State in January. Now the 22-year-old undrafted free agent is back on the court trying to earn the final spot on the Lakers' roster and resuscitate a career that until recently appeared to have flatlined.
"Going through all that stuff made me a stronger person and a stronger player," Giles said. "I've learned from that and it's prepared me to take on new challenges. I've learned I have to come at things a little more professionally."
It's a testament to Giles' immense potential that he even received a training camp invite from the Lakers. The 6-foot-11 big man is an athletic marvel, so skilled and springy that draft gurus had him pegged as a potential NBA lottery pick since high school.
Giles first ran into trouble during his third year at Kansas when he was kicked off the team as a result of academic and disciplinary problems, then reinstated only to be dismissed again because of misdemeanor battery charges. He transferred to Oregon State but missed so many practices and meetings that interim coach Kevin Mouton kicked him off the team with 12 games remaining last season.
With nowhere left to go, Giles opted to enter the NBA draft even though his on-court performance at Oregon State hardly justified turning pro. He scored in double figures only once in 10 games, fouling out of his final game in just 11 minutes in a loss to Washington.
While Giles remains a long shot to make the Lakers' roster, he has shown occasional glimpses of potential in three exhibition games. He's racked up eight points and seven rebounds so far, burying a couple of jumpers and showing good hands around the basket.
"He's a competitor, he runs hard and he plays hard in games," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "If someone told me he had problems before, I'd have no idea. There's been no indication at all."