Speaking to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report after a workout for teams in Las Vegas this week, veteran guard Dion Waiters openly discussed the reasons he has been out of the NBA for the last three seasons and what he feels he needs to do to earn another shot. According to Waiters, he took his time in the NBA for granted, so his exit from the league has been a learning experience that he has been able to pass along to his son.
“I told him, ‘Bro, your dad is not [out of] the league because of talent. It was my attitude, my character, and not understanding that it’s bigger than me,'” Waiters said. “I feel like I had to go through this so I could explain that to my son, and that’s the dead truth.”
A former fourth overall pick, Waiters has appeared in 419 regular season games, but hasn’t played in the NBA since 2020. Still just 31, the former Syracuse standout tells Haynes that he feels like he still has “a lot left in the tank” and that he believes he can be a positive leader in the locker room in addition to helping a team on the court.
“I’m healthy. I just want that opportunity just to show I’m not who I once was. And I know a lot of people talk about that, but for me, I think it’s more about showing that I’ve changed,” Waiters said. “That’s why I’m here, man. I still got that love. I still got that itch.”
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Dwyane Wade, a 13-time NBA All-Star who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in August, has invested in the WNBA’s Chicago Sky and will become part of the team’s ownership group, writes Alexa Philippou of ESPN.com. “It’s a great opportunity to be a part of the league in its very early stages,” Wade said. “… Growth is going to happen, and so I want to be a part of the growth of this league.”
- While there have been rumblings that Juancho Hernangomez may join brother Willy Hernangomez in signing with FC Barcelona, Juancho said in a conversation with Spanish outlet Marca that “speculation is just speculation” and stressed that he remains focused on finding another NBA job, as Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relays.
- Free agent guard Charlie Brown Jr. has been a standout for the Knicks at the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 17.3 PPG and 6.0 RPG in three games (28.4 MPG). Zach Braziller of The New York Post takes a closer look at the play of Brown, who is hoping that his performance in Vegas will inspire a team to sign him for training camp.
- In an entertaining article for The Athletic, John Hollinger discusses the eight “nerdiest” things that happened in free agency, digging into the details of the Rockets’ sign-and-trade for Dillon Brooks, Paul Reed‘s offer sheet, and Oklahoma City becoming a dumping ground for unwanted contracts, among other moves.