Spencer Dinwiddie joined the Los Angeles Lakers because he views them as a franchise that understands how to win.
Fresh off his first practice with the Lakers, Dinwiddie spoke with the media, and explained why he chose Los Angeles over the Dallas Mavericks, his former team.
If he were to return to the Mavericks, whom Dinwiddie played with from 2022-2023 and helped make the Western Conference Finals, then he felt like that would've been the path of least resistance, he said on Monday.
"The two situations kind of felt like this: Let's say you were a kid and you got your ass whupped by the bully," Dinwiddie said via ESPN. "Dallas would've been like your momma being like, 'It's OK, baby. Don't worry about it.' Lakers are like your dad: 'Nah, you better go out there and fight 'til you win.' You feel me? And I just felt like that was what I needed at the time.
"I'm a big believer in kind of doing what you need to do at whatever time it is."
The Los Angeles native became a free agent after the Brooklyn Nets traded him to the Toronto Raptors ahead of the deadline. On Saturday, the Raptors then bought out his contract before he cleared waivers.
By doing so, it freed the point guard up to sign with Los Angeles, who had $1.55 million remaining for a non-tax midlevel exception. And the Lakers expressed their interest by inviting Dinwiddie to the team's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 30 year old sat with Rob Pelinka, the Lakers president of basketball operations and general manager. He told reporters that Pelinka was the first call he received after being waived, and their time together watching Los Angeles' victory made a good impression on him.
Not only that, but Dinwiddie has played with several members of the team, who could help bring him up to speed. As a member of the Washington Wizards, he played with Rui Hachimura, Christian Wood on the Mavs, and D'Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince and assistant coach Jordan Ott in Brooklyn.
"Essentially you're seeing a team that when everything is on the line, they can rise to a level that no other team can get to," Dinwiddie said. "They won the in-season tournament, have played bigtime basketball the past several years. Obviously sometimes it's hard to maintain that throughout a whole season but at the end of the day, they know how to win. That's what you know. Every night they're going to get somebody's best shot just because the name that's on the front of the uniform."
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham told Dinwiddie he wants to play him immediately, so the pair met on Sunday to do an individual film session. The first opportunity he'll have to play is on Tuesday when the Lakers play the Detroit Pistons, and Dinwiddie is available. He's coming in at a time when Los Angeles is experiencing a rash of injuries.
"He's going to acclimate himself really, really well, really soon," Ham said. "Just told him, 'Don't worry about making mistakes'. We'll help talk him through it."