Dion Waiters is now officially a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, having practiced with the team for the first time on Saturday afternoon.
When he plays with them for real, however, remains to be seen.
“It’s probably going to be a few games,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said, via ESPN. “He hadn’t played all year. … It’s a matter of acclimating, getting used to our system, getting a few practices under his belt.”
Waiters: “Learn from your mistakes”
Waiters joins the Lakers after a tumultuous stretch with the Miami Heat.
Waiters was suspended for their season opener after “a number of unacceptable incidents,” including a disagreement with coach Erik Spoelstra. He was then suspended 10 games after he allegedly ate a THC-infused gummy and suffered a panic attack on a team flight, and then another six for “continued insubordination” after he told the team he was sick but then posted a photo on Instagram of him on a boat.
He didn’t make his debut with the Heat until January, and lasted just three games before he was traded to and then waived by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Waiters said he’s addressed the issues with the Lakers’ front office, but he’s more than ready to move on.
“At the end of the day, I’m grown,” Waiters said, via ESPN. “So, you learn from your mistakes … We don’t got to get drilling on the past, things like that. You live and you learn. And I did that. So, they understood that, and that was a short conversation [with the Lakers].”
And with the chance to play real basketball again so close, Waiters is itching to get back out there with the Lakers — who currently lead the Western Conference standings and could utilize a player like the 28-year-old guard down the stretch, when they hope to make a lengthy postseason run.
“You know me, I play basketball,” Waiters said, via ESPN. “I just try to take care of that part, make sure I'm ready coming into the workouts. Make sure I'm ready, sharp, things like that. Basketball for me, that's the easy part. I've been doing it my whole life. I wasn't really worried about the workout.
“I just wanted to get a chance to talk to Coach and [General manager Rob Pelinka]. Rob [was] my agent for five years, so it's been good. Everything went well. It went smooth. So I'm here today, and I'm happy, I'm excited. Just trying to get my feet wet, get back into rhythm and things like that and just figure out the plays and just get to know the guys."
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