Dion Waiters wasn’t able to make his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers before the NBA indefinitely suspended its season, but he has an idea of what to expect when he does because, or 28 games in the 2014-15 season, he was teammates with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Midway through the season, Waiters was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the three-team trade that netted the Cavaliers J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert — two key pieces to their Finals run in 2015 and championship run in 2016. But while Waiters didn’t get to compete for a championship with James in Cleveland, he’s been presented with an opportunity to do it in Los Angeles, and no one is more excited about it than him — well, expect for maybe his son.
In an article Waiters did for The Players’ Tribune on Monday, Waiters said this son was ecstatic when he heard that his dad was going to be teaming up with James once again:
When my son found out I was going to the Lakers, he went bananas. Buh-nanas, bro. He’s known Bron since he was a baby, when we were in Cleveland. That’s his guy.
I ain’t gonna lie to you. Back then, in those Cleveland days? I was still a kid, too. A dumbass kid, trying to figure it out. Bron used to show me different wines, different kinds of food. I was Philly Philly. I was raw. But Bron took me under his wing — and now all these years later, here we are again. Less hair, more wisdom. Life is crazy, right? Damn.
“Less hair, more wisdom,” hits a little too close to home for many of us, but the relationship between Waiters and James is an underrated storyline on a Lakers team that already has so many compelling elements to them. Of course, Waiters will have to earn his playing time just like everyone else, but if he can use his experience with James to his advantage, he should be able to squeeze a few minutes in Frank Vogel’s crowded back court.
Waiters also talked about his experience with depression, and how he’s learned from his past mistakes in this article. It’s a really, really good and honest story that’s worth taking the time to read.
Now, all we can do is hope that Waiters get the chance to complete his redemption story this season.