By Kenny van Doren (@SidelinesCuse)
The NBA Finals are finally around the corner. The scene is set; Lakers vs. Heat. The lucky thing for Syracuse fans is that for the first time in 40 years a former Orange hooper will win a ring. That player is Dion Waiters.
Dion played at Syracuse for two years averaging 9.7 pts, 1.9 rb, and 2 ast. He was not the huge standout that you may have thought he was, but he led a Syracuse team to the Elite Eight in his second year. Dion ended up going 4th overall to the Cavs and since then he’s jumped around from the Thunder, to the Heat and now finally a Laker.
Dion is already an NBA Finals Champion, because he played for the Heat earlier this season. The last player to be in this situation was Anderson Varejão in 2016-2017, when he went from Cleveland to Golden State.
Dion is only the fourth former Orange to make it the NBA Finals. Marty Byrnes was a bench player for the 1980 LA Lakers – they ended up beating the Philadelphia 76ers. Dennis Duval was a bench player for the 1975 Washington Bullets, and they ended up losing to the Golden State Warriors. Duval later became the city of Syracuse’s Police Chief. Lastly, Bill Gabor was a role player for the 1954 Syracuse Nationals that lost to the Minneapolis Lakers in 7 games.
Dion’s Wikipedia page already says this:
However, don’t expect much from Dion in the Finals. If we see the “Philly Cheese,” the Lakers must be blowing out the Heat in game 5. Either way, we’ll be happy to see a former Orange win a ring!