Dennis Schroder’s first stint with the Los Angeles Lakers ended in bizarre circumstances, but the playmaker’s relationship with LeBron James always seemed to leave the door open for a potential reunion.
Ahead of Schroder’s 2020-21 debut with the Lakers, James said he valued the German guard’s character, giving him the nickname “Dennis the Menace.” The four-time NBA champion added he “loved what [Schroder] brings to the game,” a significant stamp of approval from the team’s leader.
James appears to be similarly excited about having Schroder on his side again. “So damn happy to have you back!!” the 37-year-old posted after the Lakers announced the guard’s signing on Friday:
LeBron on Dennis Schroder being back with the Lakers. ✊ pic.twitter.com/9iKMKEonUM
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) September 17, 2022
Schroder and James appeared to remain friends with the two often interacting with each other on social media. Not long ago, the talented scorer dropped a hint at a possible comeback, asking James “might gotta run it back?” in a response to his Instagram comment.
Schroder rejected an extension worth up to $84 million before leaving L.A. after just one season with the team. Reports also suggested the German didn’t get along with some of his Lakers teammates. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis was believed to have complained about Schroder’s passing.
But the 29-year-old comes back to a Lakers team coached by a familiar face in Darvin Ham, under whom he played in the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals back when Ham served as Mike Budenholzer’s assistant on the Atlanta Hawks.
The Lakers also see Schroder’s toughness fit with the character of the team Ham wants to build in L.A. “Not only do Dennis and Coach Ham share a player-coach history together, but they also reflect one another’s mentality of toughness with an extremely competitive edge,” vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement.
“Dennis will add both depth and an on-ball defensive presence to our core at the guard position. He is also a proven scorer and playmaker. We are really excited for Dennis to get to camp and get back to work in L.A. after his highly successful run with his national team this offseason.”
Schroder: It’s an ‘honor’ to play for Lakers
After the Lakers made Schroder’s return official, the guard shared a few thoughts on his comeback in an Instagram post. “This past year didn’t feel right… I felt misunderstood and nobody really knew the story!” Schroder wrote.
“I’m coming back to the biggest organization to make sh—t right! … I will give everything I have every single day!! It’s an honor to play for [the] Lakers. Can’t wait to get started!”
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