The first new signing the Los Angeles Lakers made in free agency was inking veteran wing Wesley Matthews, who will basically replace Danny Green in the rotation this season.
The signing was one that made sense for the Lakers considering their needs, but also comes with a bit of history as Matthews’ father, Wes Matthews Sr., played with the ‘Showtime’ Lakers and won back-to-back championships in 1987 and 1988.
Matthews has been open about his relationship with his father, noting that he was raised mostly by his mother growing up, but building a much better relationship with his father as he has gotten older.
There are many father-son duos who have played in the NBA, but seldom if ever have they played for the same franchise and certainly none have won championships with the same team, which Matthews has the opportunity to do.
It almost seems as if Matthews Jr. joining the Lakers was ordained when he was born as Matthews Sr. recently spoke about. In an interview with Bill Oram of The Athletic, Matthews Sr. said his son has long history with all of the great Lakers:
“He wasn’t even 24 hours old (and) he was blessed by the basketball gods,” Wes Matthews said. “Magic was holding him. Kareem is holding him. Pat Riley is holding him, welcoming him to the world. It’s unbelievable. He was anointed by basketball gods at the time basketball was at its best.”
Matthews Sr. went on to voice his excitement over his son now being a member of the Lakers:
“I’m happy as hell,” Matthews said. “As a father I’m happy as hell. … He deserves this ride right now he’s about to go on. He’s with my old family because once a Laker, always a Laker. I’ll probably end up crying when I see him with the uniform on.”
It is not often that a father and son have an opportunity to connect like this. Matthews Sr. is right with the ‘once a Laker, always a Laker’ mantra. And if Matthews Jr. plays to the best of his ability, both father and son will be able to revel in Lakers championships.
Wesley Matthews outlines championship focus to Lakers fans
That is undoubtedly the focus for Matthews as he plans on doing everything he can to make sure the Lakers raise another banner.
“My message to Lakers fans is you’re going to get somebody who shows up every single night, ready to compete, ready to make life hell for whoever it is that I’m going up against,” he said. “And someone that’s not going to quit, someone that’s not going to back down and someone that’s going to do everything in their power to make sure that an 18th banner gets raised.”
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