EL SEGUNDO — The moment it became “real” for Spencer Dinwiddie — whom the Los Angeles native and Taft High alum played for his hometown Lakers — came this weekend when he and his 5-year-old son were on tour in El Segundo with the team. practice facility.
When Dinwiddie and his son, Elijah, walked up to Dinwiddie’s new locker, there was a pair of Dinwiddie No. 26 jerseys — an adult-sized one in the back for Dinwiddie and a child-sized one in the front for Elijah.
“Do you know whose it is?” Dinwiddie asked his son about the jersey on the front.
“You,” Elijah replied, pointing to his father.
“For me? Can I adjust to that? Dinwiddie responded to his son, who realized seconds later that the jersey was for him before putting it on in front of Dinwiddie’s locker.
“It didn’t really hit me when I saw the jersey in the locker, but he had it on and he was running down the hall,” Dinwiddie said after his first practice with the Lakers on Monday. “And I was behind him and I was watching ‘Dinwiddie 26’ and I was like, ‘Oh, fuck.’ Like, “This is real.” And for your son to be the reason why it felt like it was real, that was a really special moment.
As a free agent traded from Brooklyn to Toronto before the trade deadline and waived by the Raptors late last week, Dinwiddie had “multiple” teams interested in him.
But the decision of who he would sign with came down to two teams: the Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks, for whom Dinwiddie played from February 2022 to February 2023.
“One of the things that was definitely on my radar was the fact that when (Lakers general manager) Rob (Pelinka) called, that was the first call,” Dinwiddie said. “And that matters. Looking at the setup of the team and the ability to possibly step in and make an impact and try to help the team win a championship. To be at the house. It’s a childhood dream come true. There’s a lot of things that come into play, but to have a chance to help the team win and like I said, it’s just a special place.
Dinwiddie provided a humorous analogy on his decision between the Lakers and Mavericks.
“I’ll tell you something funny that I said to my people because I’m pretty outspoken,” Dinwiddie said. “Both situations looked a bit like that, didn’t they? Let’s say you were a kid and got your ass kicked by the bully. Dallas would have been like your mother saying, “It’s okay, baby. Don’t worry about that.
“The Lakers are like your dad: ‘No, you better go out there and fight until you win.’ And I just felt like that was what I needed at that time. I am a firm believer in doing what you need to do at all times. That’s how I felt about it.
With the Lakers sitting at 28-26 and playing back-to-back games against the Detroit Pistons (Tuesday) and Utah Jazz (Wednesday), Dinwiddie gave his take on the eventful season.
“Essentially, you see a team that, when everything is on the line, can reach a level that no other team can reach,” Dinwiddie said. “They won the tournament during the season and have played great basketball in recent years. Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain that throughout a season, but in the end, they know how to win. This is what you know.
“Every night they’re going to get the best shot from someone just because of the name that’s on the front of the uniform and then obviously you have arguably the greatest player of all time (LeBron James) on the field as well. So a lot of people will give him, personally, the best of themselves.
Dinwiddie will be available to play against the Pistons on Tuesday and coach Darvin Ham, who spent Sunday reviewing video with the 6-foot-6 combo guard and teaching him basic terminology used by the Lakers, made it clear that ‘he would play it right away. . Max Christie (right ankle), Gabe Vincent (left knee), Cam Reddish (left knee) and Jarred Vanderbilt (right foot) all remain out at least until after the All-Star break, according to the team.
“He’s going to acclimate really, really well, really soon,” Ham said. “I just told him, ‘Don’t worry about making mistakes.’ We will help him talk about it.
There are plenty of familiar faces on the Lakers for Dinwiddie. The 30-year-old has previously played with D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince, Rui Hachimura and Christian Wood during a 10-year career that includes stops in Detroit, Brooklyn, Washington, Dallas and now Los Angeles.
Wood, a former teammate of Dinwiddie’s in Dallas, apparently wanted Dinwiddie to be credited for joining the Lakers. But Dinwiddie made sure to set the record straight.
“How the hell are we going to give credit to C-Wood? Dinwiddie joked. “Look, C-Wood made an impact. I give credit to Bron.
PISTONS AT THE LAKERS
When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Or: Crypto.com Arena
Television/radio: Spectrum SportsNet/7:10 a.m.
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