The Los Angeles Lakers have made an important move before they gear up for postseason play. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Dion Waiters has agreed to a contract to sign with the Lakers for the rest of the season. He will be also eligible to play during the playoffs which will happen as the team has the best record in the Western Conference.
The interesting thing about this move is Waiters recently reflected on the loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with his 13-year old daughter Gianna and seven other people. Waiters told Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points Bryant's death made him take a step back and re-evaluate the things that are important in his life.
"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 he also talked about his first memory of Bryant.
"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 was drafted by the Cavs No. 4 overall in 2012 and he ended up making the All-NBA Rookie First Team after averaging 14.7 points per game. He also spent time with the Oklahoma City Thunder and he was previously with the Miami Heat. Back in November, Waiters was suspended for 10 games for conduct detrimental to the team. It was reported he passed out on a team flight after eating a THC-infused edible.