Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020
News Every Day |

Dion Waiters explains how his relationship with LeBron James has evolved since their time in Cleveland

Minnesota Timberwolves v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Waiters has matured through his life experience, making him more receptive to playing with James.

It is strange for many reasons that Dion Waiters is a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

For one, he started the season under contract with Miami on a deal that would be too onerous for the Lakers to trade for. The Lakers only even expressed interest in him once Darren Collison chose not to return to the NBA. And now, Waiters is teammates with J.R. Smith, a player he was once traded for. He is also teammates with LeBron James, the player who may or not have orchestrated that trade.

When James returned to Cleveland in 2014 with the goal of bringing a championship to his home state, he wrote in his Sports Illustrated announcement, “I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters.” Seven months later, Waiters was on his way to Oklahoma City.

At the time, the trade seemed like an admission that James couldn’t win with Waiters. But they’re teammates now, and Waiters’ signing presumably only happened with James’ blessing. Five years is a long time, and Waiters believes that as he matured over that time. So has his relationship with James.

“People don’t even know, when LeBron first got there he took me under his wing. I was with him every day, going out to eat, every day,” Waiters told reporters on his Saturday Zoom call, repeating that last “every day” for emphasis.

“A lot of things that was out there wasn’t necessarily true. But that’s the media. You know me, I don’t really care. I don’t see a lot. I see some, but I don’t see most. I don’t care,” Waiters continued. “This time around I’m a little older. I’m a father now. I’ve got three beautiful kids, so I’m a little more wiser, a little more older. I understand what’s at hand. (LeBron and I) always had a vibe and a bond. It was always love every time I’ve seen him.”

Their objective is the same today as it was when James and Waiters teamed up with the Cavaliers: win a championship. Waiters feels more ready for that mission than he was as a younger player. James is a different teammate than he was five years ago as well, as Smith noted recently. The Lakers star is probably more receptive to Waiters now than he was then, before he had won a title in Cleveland and cemented his legacy.

Even if Waiters and James didn’t get along as well as they could have in their first stint together, Waiters believes they are at a point in their lives and their careers where their goals align more closely.

“I’m just a little older, man. I’ve just seen a lot, been through a lot. At this point in my life, I just want to play basketball and take care of my family and enjoy it, because you just never know. As you can see now, we’re living in a movie with everything that’s going on. Who would have thought we’d be talking like this (over Zoom). So you just never know,” Waiters said.

A little bit of life experience — and maybe even the taste of professional failure — has given the Waiters the perspective he needs to be a good teammate and to do whatever it takes to make the Lakers succeed. It isn’t always easy being in the orbit of LeBron James, but Waiters has finally figured out how to live in that space.

“I wake up with the goal of mine to just live day-by-day and just take it slow and just keep progressing and trying to be a better person on and off the court, and just a better father also. (There are) just some things now that I probably didn’t understand when I was young. When you’re young, you’re still trying to find yourself coming into the league, and I think LeBron was trying to help me with that. But I was so stubborn back then,” Waiters said. “I understand now. I’m 28, and I’ve been through a lot. I’m at peace with myself now, so I’m good.”

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @sabreenajm.

Read also

DC FanDome: ‘The Flash,’ ‘Black Lightning’ and ‘Pennyworth’ Lead TV Panel Slate

Can little kids social distance? This is how it works in Chicago’s child care centers

Konawa dismisses class after student tests positive for COVID-19

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here