Spencer Dinwiddie was the most impactful player available on the buyout market after being traded to the Raptors who decided to waive him. He chose the Los Angeles Lakers over his former team, the Dallas Mavericks, and is the biggest mid-season acquisition for the Lakers this year.
What tipped the scales towards LA over the familiar situation in Dallas was LeBron James himself. Dinwiddie gave credit to LeBron for recruiting him as Christian Wood joked about being the one to convince his former teammate to join LA.
“How the hell are we going to give C-Wood the credit? Bro, what are we doing? Hey, look, C-Wood was impactful, but I’m giving the credit to Bron.”
Dinwiddie also claimed in a different question with the media at his Lakers unveiling that LeBron called him when he was waived and asked him to join the Lakers. Even though Dinwiddie met up with Mark Cuban during the Mavericks vs. Knicks game in New York, it’s clear that the allure of playing alongside LeBron and Anthony Davis in his hometown was greater.
Dinwiddie was having a bad season with the Nets, averaging 12.6 points and 6.0 assists on 39.1% shooting. Reports were suggesting Dinwiddie was on a self-imposed strike as an expiring contract in Brooklyn before the franchise traded him for Dennis Schroder to the Raptors, who waived him.
Spencer Dinwiddie Explained Why He Chose LA Over Dallas
The Mavericks could have offered Dinwiddie more money, but would likely have a smaller role for him. He would play behind both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving without any room to start, which won’t be the case for the Lakers. Based on form, he could easily join the starting lineup ahead of D’Angelo Russell or Austin Reaves. In addition, he gets to play for the most storied franchise in the NBA in his hometown.
Dinwiddie had a confusing analogy for the media when they asked him why he wanted to be a Laker over returning to the Mavericks.
“Let’s say you’re a kid and you get your ass whupped by the bully. Dallas would have been like your mama, like, ‘It’s OK, baby.’ … Lakers are like your dad: ‘Nah, you better go out there and fight ‘til you win.’”
What we gather from that is that Dinwiddie didn’t want to return to a comfortable situation in Dallas where he knew he could excel in a sixth-man role. Instead, he chose to deal with the greater pressure of playing on the Lakers next to LeBron. The fanbase is ruthless and the scrutiny could ruin Dinwiddie’s reputation, especially after his poor start to the season in Brooklyn.
He’s taken the harder route than playing for a potential top-six team like the Mavericks by being a part of the Lakers’ climb out of the play-in tournament. It’s admirable, but he needs to produce on the court and back it up.
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