The NBA trade rumours mill has been alive and running over the past few weeks. With the Morris brothers (Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris) making their way to Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Lakers waiving Troy Daniels, there were a number of NBA trade rumours surrounding Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith. It now appears that the Frank Vogel is likely to make the Dion Waiters to Lakers announcement this week. While it appears to be a matter of 'when' and not 'if', the Dion Waiters to Lakers storyline will hold significance to Dion Waiters, who grew up idolising Kobe Bryant and was also a teammate of LeBron James.
After a tumultuous four-year spell with Miami Heat that led to him being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and subsequently waived, the Dion Waiters to Lakers move now hands the 2012 Big East Sixth Man of the Year an opportunity to start afresh at the Staples Center - otherwise known as "the house that Kobe (Bryant) built". In an interview with Clutch Points earlier this year, Dion Waiters opened up on what the loss of the Lakers legend meant for him.
Dion Waiters attended high school in South Philadelphia and ended up playing basketball at Syracuse, not far from where Kobe Bryant shot hoops at Lower Merion in Pennsylvania. Speaking on the death of Kobe Bryant, Dion Waiters said, “I mourned myself. I had a day where I just went in my room, lights was out, and let it out. I can’t imagine what the city was going through.” Dion Waiters also recalled the first time he witnessed Kobe Bryant live in action back in January 2013.
“There’s certain guys when you get in the league that you just stop and look like, ‘wow. That was one of those moments my rookie year. We came to L.A. and played against Kobe. It was one of those moments where I was in the warm-up lines, we came out, and I just stopped and was just looking down there. Looking and going through layup lines. It was one of them moments. I said, ‘wow. I’m here.’ But it’s also like, ‘damn, that’s Kobe! That’s Bean!’ It’s one of them type of moments."