Spencer Dinwiddie Discusses Playing PG for Wizards: 'I'm Not Gilbert, John or Russ'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2021

Brooklyn Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie plays against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Spencer Dinwiddie said Monday he plans to carve out his own path while following the likes of Gilbert Arenas, John Wall and Russell Westbrook as the Washington Wizards' point guard.

"I'm not Gilbert, John or Russ. Those are all dudes with very interesting personalities," Dinwiddie told reporters. "You've got some of the best players—obviously Russ, one of the best players to ever play in terms of the triple-doubles. You've got Gilbert, one of the best scorers of all time. You've got John, who had an extended run when you could argue he was the best point guard in the league."

Dinwiddie, who signed a three-year, $54 million contract with the Wizards as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets after Westbrook was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, joked he could stand out by becoming the "first point guard in D.C. history to possibly lobby senators about Bitcoin."

"But in all seriousness, I think just my style of play is very different from them," he said. "Like I said, I respect everything that they did, but what I want to be known for is winning, and that's what I hope to bring to the franchise."

The 28-year-old Los Angeles native put together a breakout year in Brooklyn in 2019-20, averaging 20.6 points, 6.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 threes across 64 appearances.

Dinwiddie was limited to three games last season because of a partially torn ACL, however, and the team's trade acquisition of James Harden didn't leave a path to extensive playing time or offensive touches once healthy with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant also in the backcourt and on the wing.

Instead, he'll head to Washington, where he could team with shooting guard Bradley Beal, who ranked second in the NBA in scoring last season at 31.3 points per game. Beal has been the focus of trade rumors, which may change that outlook before the season tips off.

"Obviously, I spoke to him, and obviously he's his own man and his decisions are his own. So I can't talk about his plans or what he's going to do," Dinwiddie said. "I think right now we're both willing to kind of take a little bit of a bet on each other and try to do something special. All we can kind of focus on is the now, and if plans change then they change, but we're here now and have a really special chance."

Washington also added Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Aaron Holiday in the Westbrook blockbuster trade and selected Gonzaga's Corey Kispert with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 draft, so its rotation will look quite a bit different by opening night.

A healthy Dinwiddie combined with those other changes should help push the Wizards, who posted a 34-38 record last season, over .500 during the 2021-22 campaign.