The addition of big man Christian Wood is the latest move by the Los Angeles Lakers as they attempt to take the next step an bring home that 18th NBA Championship. An extremely skilled offensive big man who can stretch the floor, Wood gives the Lakers an element they did not have previously.
As excited as the Lakers and the fans are to have Wood in the fold, it is also a huge moment for him as he is a Southern California native. Wood was born in Long Beach and attended Los Alamitos and Knight High School before transferring to Findlay Prep in Nevada as a senior.
But the big man grew up a fan of the Lakers and Wood told reporters that the opportunity to come back home and suit up for his hometown team is a dream come true, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It feels amazing. It’s a dream come true, life-long dream come true. I’ve been watching the team since I was a child so it’s amazing to be here, and the atmosphere in the gym is great.”
Many players never get the chance to play for their favorite team growing up so Wood is undoubtedly embracing this chance he has. And while he hasn’t been with the Lakers for long, he is already feeling the love from his family, teammates and the fans:
“It’s all love. Everybody’s been showing me love. Since I got here the guys have been showing me love. They’re pumped and excited for what we can do next season. The fans, it’s been great. It’s L.A. fans so it’s a little different, but I love it. It’s my hometown.”
As an offensive player, Wood is truly unique. He can score inside and out, but his ability to knock down 3-pointers at a high rate will be huge for a Lakers team that has struggled with perimeter shooting for years. The key will be Wood holding up defensively, and failing on that end would not sit well with head coach Darvin Ham.
But the potential of Wood is impossible to deny and being back home could provide the motivation he needs to stay on track and give the Lakers everything he has. And if that’s the case, they will be a tough team to stop on the road to a championship.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham called Christian Wood every day of free agency
It took Wood a long time to decide where he would sign as a free agent. The Lakers were always an option, but there were other teams in play as well. But Ham made sure to remain in Wood’s ear throughout the process.
The Lakers big man revealed that Ham called him every day of free agency. The two have a previous relationship from their time in Milwaukee and Wood admitted that having that level of communication with his coach was a big deal for him.
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