Shortly before the NBA was put on hiatus, the Los Angeles Lakers brought on veteran guard Dion Waiters to try and add some scoring to the bench. Unfortunately for him, he never got a chance to see the floor with the team before everything got shut down. For most players, it has been a blow to not be able to play basketball, but it hits Waiters even harder as he’s only played three games all season.
In a Q&A with Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated, Waiters was asked what he’s looking forward to the most when the NBA returns and he gave some strong comments:
Just trying to hoop. Just vibe out and hoop. I’ve had damn near the whole season off. I’m trying to get back and hoop. I got something to prove at the end of the day. During this quarantine I’ve been dieting, getting my weight down, getting in shape. For me, it’s just playing basketball.
The extra time off could end up being a blessing in disguise for Waiters. He’s had some well-documented issues in the past, but it sounds like he’s focusing on getting ready to play basketball at a high level when he returns. He has plenty of talent, he’s just never been able to keep his head on straight. It’ll be very interesting to see if he can carve out a role of the team when the league returns.
Waiters Comments on COVID-19 Test
One second the NBA was going about its business, the next second Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and it was a whirlwind from there. Waiters gave some insight into the chaotic nature of the whole situation.
“People start sending stuff, it got crazy,” Waiters told Sports Illustrated. “At that time, [the Lakers] were still trying to get all the information. Everybody found out at the same time.”
After it was revealed that the Lakers had two players test positive for COVID-19, every other player on the team was tested. Fortunately, it was only the two who ended up testing positive and they were both asymptomatic. It hasn’t been revealed which two players tested positive, but the team recently revealed that every player is now symptom-free. Waiters explained what the test was like.
“They stick a Q-tip into your nose, it touches the front of your brain,” Waiters said. “You start coughing and everything, it was the worst.”
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Waiters Is Happy to Be With Family
While the situation in the world isn’t ideal for anybody, Waiters has been able to find a silver lining. He told Sports Illustrated that it’s fortunate that he can spend this extra time with his family that he wouldn’t have been able to if the season was going on:
Instead of me having to be in L.A. by myself and worrying about my kids and how they’re holding up, I can be here.
It was hard being in L.A. because I didn’t know what was going on. In times like this, you appreciate the things and people you have. Appreciate the little things, like going outside, or take your kids to the playground.