The Los Angeles Lakers reunited with several players during free agency, with Trevor Ariza being the most notable name.
Ariza, a valued member of the 2009 title team, returned to the Lakers on a one-year deal after spending last season with the Miami Heat. Even at 36 years old, Ariza figures to serve a sizable role on this year’s squad because of his ability to guard bigger wings and occasionally hit an open three.
Seeing Ariza back in Purple and Gold brings back a wave of nostalgia and the veteran opened up about coming back home. “I’m a bit different,” Ariza said. “I try not to think about all the times or whatever. I try to live in the moment, so I can continue to focus on what I have to do. If I look back all those years ago, I’m going to realize how long I’ve been doing this and how old I am, so I don’t want to do that right now. I want to just stay in the moment, focus and work on my game. Work on things to help this team win and that’s it.”
The forward seemed to be a lock to come back to the Lakers and he revealed that he was only deciding between Miami and Los Angeles.
“To be honest, there’s only two places I actually wanted to be. Miami being one and L.A. being the other, but to be able to come back home, be with my family and be a part of this tradition is something you don’t really get too many chances to do it twice.
“When the opportunity actually presented itself and it was real, it was the best opportunity for me to come home and be here and I’m excited and happy. I wanted to be here. I’m excited to play with all the players to see what this team can do. Again like you said, we’ve all played for a long time. We’ve all done things that are pretty amazing by just being in the NBA for this long. To see all those minds come together and all these talents come together, I think that is going to be amazing.”
Fans are surely going to love seeing Ariza back in Staples Center and it would be a wonderful moment for him to win another title with the franchise he made his name with.
Ariza reveals Lakers reunion was previously possible
For years, it seemed as though Ariza could make his way back to the Lakers but an opportunity never presented himself. However, Ariza believes it was just a matter of the right place and right time.
“There’s been a couple of times where it could’ve been a possibility. It didn’t work out that way, so I just figured it wasn’t the right time, but everything finds itself when the time is presented or when the time is right and apparently this is the right time for me to be here with this group. I can’t really worry about if it didn’t happen before. The fact is that it happened now and I’m just ready to get it started.”
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