Despite having a strong campaign for the Dallas Mavericks in 2023, the franchise decided to move on from star center Christian Wood this summer when he was an unrestricted free agent. Earlier in September, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Wood agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year deal. Following the announcement, Wood appeared to aim for his former team and head coach Jason Kidd.
“I’m looking forward to [joining the Lakers] and [for sure] motivated after what Dallas did,” Wood said to Marc J. Spears of Andscape.
Wood’s comments did not go over well with Mavericks’ star Kyrie Irving. Irving took to X, formerly known as Twitter, and seemingly fired back at the newest Laker and the “smear campaign” he created.
“Smear campaigns are created by all the cowards in our world,” Irving wrote. “They throw their rocks and then hide in the crowd and hope you crash out. And when you find out who it was/is and see them in person, go check their temperature face to face lol, I promise you their energy is different.”
Christian Wood Sounds off on Joining Lakers
Sometimes players just need a change of scenery to make the leap. For example, Former top pick Andrew Wiggins was viewed as a bust by many people while he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But after getting traded to the Golden State Warriors, he became an All-Star and an NBA Champion.
The Lakers have dealt with strong personalities previously in the LeBron James era. When they won the championship in the bubble in 2020, they had a roster that employed Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma, and J.R. Smith.
Wood has had issues throughout his career, but there is no doubt that when he is dialed in, he is one of the most talented big men in the league. Now joining a core highlighted by Anthony Davis and LeBron, Wood believes he can be one of the pieces that help the Lakers raise another championship banner.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Laker,” Wood added. “I know we can win a championship. Communication with a coach is a big key. Coach (Darvin) Ham and I go back to our Milwaukee days, and we have had great conversations every day about this opportunity. He believes in me and told me I will be playing a big role and knows what I can do.”
Ex-Maverick Sends Warning on Sports Gambling
Some view it as just harmless, added competitiveness to the game. But as athletes and sports leagues have gotten more heavily involved in sports gambling, former Maverick Stevin ‘Headake’ Smith warns that things could become “dangerous” in the future.
“It is a dangerous road for all these leagues. You just never know who is in on the fix. Could be a player. A coach. A ref. People just do not understand. And now that there are loose laws and teams moving to Las Vegas, man, it’s like open season,” Smith said to Sports Illustrated.”Something’s going to happen at some point. No doubt.”
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This article was originally published on Heavy.com