Spencer Dinwiddie sat down with Adrian Wojnarowski after signing his recent contract —$34 million over three years— and talked about his journey from second round pick (with a torn ACL) to a solid NBA career ... and a very nice contract.
As Woj notes, a lot of guys fall by the wayside when faced by the kind of issues that Dinwiddie came up against, but when they succeed, the reward is greater.
“I think the best part of the journey is that there’s just no fear because you know how it feels. You’ve been through that experience and you’ve been able to come out relatively on top. It’s definitely not an easy grind.”
“When you’ve been through all those things, it’s almost like what it’s like on the other side of death.”
Dinwiddie also admitted he had doubts at every turn before he got to Brooklyn in 2016, just months after Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson took over.
“If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, the sound don’t matter. Whether it makes a sound, It just doesn’t matter. So there was some of that, you’d say, doubt about the opportunity ever coming.”
Talking specifically about his time in Detroit, Dinwiddie said there was more talk about what he couldn’t do rather than what he could. That, he said, is common for players trying to make their way in the league.
The challenge, he added, is “all about pointing out what you can do rather than celebrating what you can’t do. During my time in Detroit all people ever wanted to talk about what how I didn’t make three’s ... on a very low volume of attempts but I’ve been a 3-to-1 assist-turnover guy my whole career.”
Dinwiddie, who was also cut by the Bulls, said that training camp experience was even more frustrating because of the talent he was up against ... players like Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Michael Carter-Williams. As a non-guaranteed player, he had no chance (and was cut in favor of R.J. Hunter!)
Brooklyn, of course, was different. With Jeremy Lin (and Sean Kilpatrick) battling persistent hamstring issues his first year, and him joining the team 25 games into the season year 1 was a learning experience.
But last season, despite a starting backcourt of Lin and newly acquired D’Angelo Russell, he was confident.
“I went into camp trying to make a statement that I was the best player there ... I wanted to go there and prove that.
“When I step on the court for 48 minutes, I believe that I’m best player on the floor.”
And when he got the contract? “The money didn’t change anything ... I want to win championships. I want to lead teams to championships. That’s the goal.”
As for the rest of season and the possibility of the Nets making the playoffs.
“We are fighting for something tangible. We all in that locker room believe it,”
Dinwiddie talks as well about Kenny Atkinson’s reaction to his stepback three’s, designing his sneakers after breaking with Nike and the role of social media both in his life and the NBA.