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 MIAMI (AP) -Smush Parker decided to sign with the Miami Heat because he saw a chance to start for a title contender.
``They won a championship two years ago, and I'm just trying to be a part of that championship run again,'' Parker said at a news conference Monday.
Parker signed Friday with the Heat, his seventh team since turning pro in 2002. He helped the Los Angeles Lakers to the playoffs each of the past two seasons, but they were over the salary cap and didn't try to re-sign him.
``That chapter is done,'' Parker said. ``My decision to come here was that there was an open point guard position. This is a great team, a great organization to be a part of.''
Miami sought to shore up the position because point guard Jason Williams has been plagued with injuries the past two seasons.
``As of right now, we're battling for the starting position. Nothing is guaranteed,'' Parker said. ``I am going to come in and work hard and earn everything they give me here.''
Parker played in all 164 games for the Lakers the past two seasons, averaging 11.3 points and 3.2 assists. He said he also considered signing with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics, but was mindful of the Heat's 2006 NBA title.
They fell to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs this past season.
``I feel like this team - with the right combination of guys - could get back to winning,'' Parker said.
The Heat's deal with Parker came after they failed to land several other point guards, including Mo Williams, Steve Francis and Steve Blake.
Parker went undrafted in 2002 and was with Cleveland, Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit and Phoenix before joining the Lakers.
``I take advantage of opportunities given to me, whether it's starting or coming off the bench,'' he said. ``I just want to be a help to any team I play on.''
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