Dion Waiters knows all about Kobe Bryant as he grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bryant is also from the area and when Waiters, who is currently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, heard the news of the Lakers legend and his 13-year old daughter Gianna killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, he was very emotional.
"I mourned myself," Waiters told Clutch Points. "I had a day where I just went in my room, lights was out, and let it out. I can't imagine what the city was going through."
Waiters had the chance to face Bryant when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the early stages of his career. He told Azarly his first memory of Bryant back in 2013, which was his rookie season.
"There’s certain guys when you get in the league that you just stop and look like, 'wow,'" Waiters added. "That was one of those moments my rookie year. We came to L.A. and played against Kobe. It was one of those moments where I was in the warm-up lines, we came out, and I just stopped and was just looking down there. Looking and going through layup lines. It was one of them moments. I said, 'wow. I’m here.' But it’s also like, 'damn, that's Kobe! That's Bean!' It's one of them type of moments."
Waiters went on to say Bryant's death made him re-evaluate the things that are important in life.0comments
"Especially being a father of three, so every day, you wake up, you hug your kids, you kiss them, you try to be on the phone," he stated. When you"re away, you try to call as much as possible and things like that. I think just that situation and them moments, you just never know. I think it shocked everybody. Moore importantly man, just being appreciative and grateful. That’s the most important thing I took from it."
Waiters has been in the NBA since 2012 and made an impact his rookie season, averaging 14.7 points per game that led to him being named to the All-Rookie First Team. He has also spent time with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat.