Wesley Matthews’ ties to Lakers go back to the day he was born
When Wesley Matthews makes his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers next month, he will become the second member of his family to play for the Purple-and-Gold.
Matthews’ father, Wes, won two championships in both seasons he played with the “Showtime” Lakers, in 1987 and 1988. (The senior Matthews played for six teams over nine seasons from 1981-1990, including 101 games for L.A.).
“That was the first place he picked up a basketball,” Wes told The Athletic’s Bill Oram about a photograph of young Wesley attending a Lakers game at The Forum.
That memory carries extra weight for Wes, who spent much of Wesley’s childhood playing basketball overseas as his son was raised by a single mother, Pam. Today, the two are still working on their relationship.
“We are very much closer than we were (when I was) growing up, and as I’ve gotten older and older, our relationship has continued to grow and it’s something that I’m very proud of,” the recently-signed Laker told reporters on Tuesday.
Wesley Jr. was born on Oct. 14, 1986 — the same day his father signed with the Lakers. Upon his birth, he was immediately welcomed into the Lakers family.
“He wasn’t even 24 hours old (and) he was blessed by the basketball gods,” Wes Matthews Sr. said. “Magic was holding him. Kareem is holding him. Pat Riley is holding him, welcoming him to the world. It’s unbelievable.
I played with the father of Wes Matthews Jr. on the Championship Showtime Lakers. What a great legacy for the Matthews family. Congratulations!
Matthews agreed to sign a one year deal with the defending champions within the first half-hour of free agency, Oram notes, citing the Lakers aggressive pursuit of him.
“I think it’s a pretty simple thing,” the veteran shooting guard said. “You want to be wanted, and you want to be wanted by the best.”
Now, Matthews will aim to become the second member of his lineage to earn a ring in L.A.