Spencer Dinwiddie on Lakers pick: ‘They know how to win’

Spencer Dinwiddie on Lakers pick: ‘They know how to win’

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – After completing his first practice with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, Spencer Dinwiddie walked off the court and explained to a crowd of reporters why he chose to come to Los Angeles instead of the Dallas Mavericks after being traded to Los Angeles. The Toronto Raptors then waived him last week.

“I felt both situations were like this: Let’s say you were a kid and you got your butt kicked by a bully,” Dinwiddie said. “Dallas would have been like your mom, ‘It’s okay, baby.’ Don’t worry about it.’ Lakers are like your dad: ‘No, you better go out there and fight until you win.’ You feel me and I felt like that’s what I needed at that time.

“I’m a big believer in doing what you have to do at any given time.”

Dinwiddie was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to Toronto at the deadline, was waived and then cleared waivers on Saturday afternoon, opening the door for him to sign the remaining $1.55 million portion of the Lakers’ non-tax mid-level exception for the rest of the team. season.

Returning to Dallas was the path of least resistance. He was traded there in February 2022 and helped the team reach the Western Conference Finals, where he teamed with superstar Luka Doncic and coach Jason Kidd to upset the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the second round by scoring 30 points in Game 7 at Phoenix.

Coming to the Lakers with a coach Darvin Hamm has never played for, a 39-year-old superstar LeBron James trying to stage another Finals run and a fan base unhappy with anything less than a championship is more than a pressure cooker.

Add to that the fact that, as a Los Angeles native, he will have personal expectations for the performance of the hometown team he grew up cheering for, and it’s pretty clear that nothing about this career decision for the 10-year veteran will fly under the radar.

And he’s more than OK with that.

“Basically, you see a team that, when everything is on the line, can rise to a level that no other team can,” Dinwiddie said. “They’ve won a championship during the season, and they’ve played great basketball the last several years. Obviously, it’s hard sometimes to maintain that throughout an entire season but at the end of the day, they know how to win. That’s what you know. Every night. They’re going to get “Someone’s best chance just because the name is on the front of the uniform.”

Dinwiddie attended the Lakers’ win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday and sat down with Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka during the game. He said Pelinka made a strong impression on him by making the first phone call he received after being waived by Toronto, and he felt the atmosphere around the Lakers helped him make his decision.

However, it wasn’t until Dinwiddie’s son, Elijah, tried on his father’s No. 26 gold uniform that the Lakers had custom-made for him in child size when Dinwiddie visited the practice facility for the first time on Sunday, that everything became ready for him.

“He put (the jersey) on and was running down the lane and I was behind him and I was looking at Dinwiddie 26 and I was like, ‘Oh, damn.’ “It’s real,” Dinwiddie said. “And to have your son be the reason it felt real, that was a really special moment.”

Dinwiddie will be available to play against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, and Hamm, who spent Sunday doing a one-on-one photo session with the 6-6 combo guard and teaching him the basic terminology Los Angeles uses in play calls, made it clear he would play him immediately. Especially considering Max Christie (right ankle), Gabe Vincent (left knee), Cam Reddish (left knee) and Jared Vanderbilt (right foot) are all out until after the All-Star break at least, according to the team.

“He will settle into himself very well and very soon,” Hamm said. “I just told him: Don’t worry about making mistakes. We’ll help him solve this problem.”

While Dinwiddie doesn’t have any experience playing for the Lakers, he does have pre-existing relationships with several members of the team. He was playing for the Brooklyn Nets with D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince and assistant coach Jordan Ott. He played for the Washington Wizards with Rui Hachimura and played with Christian Wood for the Mavericks.

But he explained that Wood was not the most influential voice he was listening to when he chose Los Angeles

“How the hell are we going to give C-Wood credit? Bro, what do we do?” Dinwiddie said with a laugh. “Look, C-Wood was influential….I give Bron credit.”

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