Trevor Ariza Reveals Main Reasons Behind Decision To Join LA Lakers

Basketball
Keith Allison | Wikimedia Commons

JB Baruelo

After 12 years, veteran small forward Trevor Ariza found himself returning to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. Ariza previously played for the Purple and Gold from 2007-2009 where he helped Kobe Bryant capture their 15th NBA championship title by beating the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals.

Since parting ways with the Lakers, Ariza has joined numerous NBA teams, including the Houston Rockers, then-New Orleans Hornets, Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Miami Heat.

But, now he's back and several factors influenced his return to the Lakers.

Trevor Ariza Discusses Decision To Return To Los Angeles

Wikimedia Commons

On media day, Ariza discussed several interesting topics, including his decision to return to Los Angeles in the 2021 free agency. If there's one person who had the most influence in his decision to rejoin the Lakers, Ariza said it's his son.

“My son Tristan,” Ariza said, as quoted by TalkBasket.net. “After I started getting traded a bunch, their station was going to be here at home. He got tired of me being elsewhere, he wanted me to be home. Outside of basketball he was the biggest influence."

Russell Westbrook Recruits Trevor Ariza To Lakers

Aside from his son, another person who played a major role in Ariza's decision to sign with the Lakers is All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook. As soon as the Lakers acquired him in the blockbuster deal that sent Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and a first-round pick to the Wizards, Westbrook recruited Ariza to the Lakers.

"But Russ [Westbrook] as soon as he got traded, he’s on my phone, like, ‘What’s up man, I need to talk to you.’ and I’m like ‘What he f*ck you want to talk to me about?’ But yeah Russ is my dog. We stayed in constant communication. So probably Russ," Ariza said.

Trevor Ariza Willing To Play Any Role On Lakers

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As of now, the Lakers are yet to make an official announcement regarding who will be members of their starting lineup in the 2021-22 NBA season. However, there are growing speculations that Ariza could be a starter, especially if Lakers head coach Frank Vogel decides to use Anthony Davis and LeBron James at the center and power forward positions, respectively.

However, Ariza, who called himself a "plug-and-play type player," said it wouldn't be a problem for him whether he's a starter or a member of the second unit. He said that he's ready to any role that will be given to him by Vogel next season.

Trevor Ariza's On-Court Impact On Lakers

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Ariza may no longer be the same player that helped the Lakers capture the 2009 NBA championship title, but he's still a great addition to the Lakers. He would provide a boost for the Lakers on both ends of the floor, giving them another reliable scorer, rebounder, lockdown defender, and floor-spacer.

Last season, Ariza averaged 9.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.0 steal while shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. With his experience playing with numerous superstars, Ariza won't have a hard time building chemistry with Westbrook, James, and Davis next season.

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