-- Antawn Jamison, the Washington Wizards' major offseason addition, doesn't rack up points with highlight-reel dunks. The sixth-year forward, expected to be the team's No. 1 offensive threat, doesn't have to create his own shot by massaging the basketball for "15 seconds," as he says, because he usually gets rid of it quicker than a hot potato. And Jamison doesn't have to ask for the ball because it usually finds him.
His game, by his own admission, is more efficient than aesthetically pleasing.
"It's one of those things that comes natural," Jamison said Wednesday from Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. "I have a great knack for the ball. Sometimes, I can't explain how I do it."
Part of the reason Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld dispatched Jerry Stackhouse -- along with Christian Laettner and Devin Harris, the team's fifth overall pick in this year's draft -- to the Dallas Mavericks last summer for Jamison was that Jamison has proven that he doesn't need to dominate the ball to score in bunches. He averaged nearly 15 points last season as a reserve on Dallas and more than 20 per game over the previous three years as a starter with Golden State.
And yes, he scores in bunches -- he has two 50-point games on his NBA resume along with five 40-point games and an impressive 36 games in which he scored at least 30.
On a team that already features scoring guards Gilbert Arenas and Larry Hughes, Jamison can get his numbers without getting in the way.
"You can put him down for 20 points and seven, eight rebounds a night, but he does it within the framework of the team," Grunfeld said.
That last fact was especially pertinent last season, when Dallas Coach Don Nelson asked Jamison -- who had started 287 of his previous 289 games -- to accept a role as a reserve because the Mavericks had Dirk Nowitzki and Antoine Walker playing in front of him. Jamison complied -- and went on to win the sixth man of the year award, shooting a career-best 53.5 percent.
"I told him I really respected what he did," Grunfeld said. "He's a team player. He sacrificed part of his game for the benefit of the team."
His sacrifice helped the Mavs reach the playoffs, where they lost in the first round to Sacramento. The taste of the postseason made Jamison hungry for more.
"The only thing that will make me happy is winning," he said. "Anything other than not making the playoffs is not a success in my eyes. I finally made it last year and I don't want that to be the only time I make it."
Jamison can score in the low post with an assortment of rebound put-backs, baby hooks and occasionally baffling, one-handed junk shots in the lane. "I'm not even sure how you practice that," said Wizards center Brendan Haywood, Jamison's former teammate at North Carolina, "but it's been effective for him throughout his career."
Jamison can also hit jumpers and finish on the break. "I can just throw it and his hands are so good, anything I throw around the rim, he grabs it and puts it back up," said Arenas, who played two seasons with Jamison at Golden State. "He'll make a bad situation look good."
Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan will be counting on Jamison's scoring, but he also likes the fact that Jamison doesn't need a lot of space on the low post to make his presence felt. And Jordan also knows Jamison's effectiveness as an offensive rebounder will be crucial.
"When he catches it, he gets himself in position to catch and score. Whether he's sprinting down the lane or whether he's slashing to the basket, or whether it's a quick catch and take, or his ability to make perimeter shots and threes. And he's a heck of an offensive rebounder and a put-back guy. Just the fact that he can do that with little time and space makes him a heck of a weapon."
Jamison is also durable -- he owns the longest consecutive games played streak in the league with 328. That fact is especially important to Jordan, who lost 57 games in his first season as Wizards coach largely because key players such as Stackhouse, Arenas and Hughes all missed significant time because of injury.
"He won't miss a lot of games," Jordan said. "We had our three best players miss a lot of games last year. You can't control injuries, but somehow he has been so durable in getting that streak that he has."
Jamison has already sacrificed a little to keep the peace in the locker room. Although he has worn No. 33 since he played at North Carolina, Jamison didn't pressure Haywood for the number. Haywood didn't want to give up his jersey again, after letting Nos. 3 and 00 go in each of the past two seasons. "I'm not dwelling on it," said Jamison, who picked the No. 4 since he was drafted fourth in 1999 and was a fan of former Wizard Chris Webber. "He said he needs some kind of identity. I have no problem with that, even though he did go to Carolina. He's still my man."
Wizards Notes: Hughes will become a free agent next summer but said that he would like to remain in Washington after this season. "I like what the organization is doing. I like the team. I like the city. I like the relationship with the coach," Hughes said. "Everything is on the up and up."
Grunfeld said he wants to keep Hughes but won't get into contract discussions until after the season. "He fits in with us long term," Grunfeld said. "He's a proven NBA player. I expect Larry to have an outstanding season. At the appropriate time, we'll sit with him and see what we can work out."
Hughes, 25, averaged a career-high 18.8 points in 61 games last season and this week was named one of the team captains, along with Jamison and Etan Thomas.