SALT LAKE CITY – Spencer Dinwiddie won the lottery on Saturday.
Not that lottery.
But thanks to playing in Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz, the Dallas Mavericks’ guard hit the jackpot.
When he played for Brooklyn, Dinwiddie signed a three-year contract for nearly $60 million in the summer of 2021. It was a sign-and-trade contract between the Nets and Washington Wizards, which would pay Dinwiddie a bonus of $2,171,427 if he played 50 games during the 2022-23 season.
Well, the Mavs-Jazz game was the 50th Dinwiddie has played this season. Also, because he played Saturday and more than 50 games last season, Dinwiddie’s entire contract has now been fully guaranteed.
That means his $20,171,427 salary this season and his $21,028,570 salary for next season is totally guaranteed.
“When I signed this deal, this was part of the structure in terms of the health clauses,” Dinwiddie said. “In my mind I had a three-year guaranteed deal because I didn’t see myself not playing 50 games. Even if it was a situation where I didn’t play back-to-back both years, I still didn’t see myself not playing 50 games.
“It’s a great milestone to hit. I’m not going to sit here and act like I don’t like the money and stuff like that. I’m not going to sit here and lie to y’all.”
Dinwiddie’s contract was structured in such a way partly because he underwent surgery to repair his right anterior cruciate ligament in the summer of 2021, and apparently the Wizards’ management was concerned about his recovery. But there were no concerns from Dinwiddie’s standpoint.
“I would say in my career in general I’ve taken pride in being durable,” Dinwiddie said. “A lot of when people talk of me not playing games, it came from my first two seasons (with Detroit in 2014-16) where they were DNP-coach’s decisions and then obviously my ACL year, which unfortunately you can’t really control.
“Other than that I’ve taken great pride in trying to take care of my body, eat right as you guys write about a lot. Trying to be durable.”
Dinwiddie has only missed one game all season while playing in more games than any member of the Mavs this year.
“He takes care of his body,” coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s a pro, he’s the first one there to get treatment to work on his body, and he’s conditioned to do what he did the (Thursday) night in Phoenix (when he played 40 minutes).
“And he believes that he can carry the load, so that helps us overall.”
With Luka Doncic out after playing less than four minutes into this past Thursday’s game against Phoenix with a sprained left ankle, Dinwiddie poured in a season-high 36 points and distributed nine assists as the Mavs prevailed over the Suns, 99-95. He added 35 more points in 42 minutes Saturday night against the Jazz.
“I think it’s cool to see someone come back from injury,” Kidd said. “And not just be durable, but put up the numbers that he’s putting up.
“When you look at his shooting and scoring, everything is up and we’re going to need that while Luka is out.”
KIDD, HARDY ON TYRE NICHOLS: Without being prompted, Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy started his pregame press conference Saturday by commenting on the brutal death of Memphis’ Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis police officers earlier this month.
“I want to express my condolences and our condolences to the Tyre Nichols family and the Memphis community as they try to cope with this senseless and horrific act of violence,” Hardy said. “It’s another jarring reminder of just how far we have to go as a society, and it gets old.”
Nichols was pulled over by Memphis police on Jan. 7, and the horrific video, which was showed to the public on Friday night on various television stations across the country, showed him being savagely beaten by five police officers. Nichols died three days later.
“I haven’t really seen the tape yet, so I can’t really comment on seeing it, but I’ve heard (about it),” coach Jason Kidd said. “It’s just disappointing that it’s happened here in our country – what’s taking place.
“As we move forward as a country we’ve got to do better. That is just unacceptable.”
BRIEFLY: When Spencer Dinwiddie was being interviewed on live television by TNT’s Chris Haynes following Thursday’s 99-95 win over the Phoenix Suns, Dinwiddie decided to have teammate Dwight Powell join in on the interview. Because Dinwiddie allowed Powell — he had 15 points and five rebounds against the Suns — to take some of his shine away, that was a noble act as far as coach Jason Kidd is concerned. “When you talk about what Spencer did after the game of not just doing an interview by himself, but pulling in a teammate, we’ve talked about that as a group,” Kidd said. “Who can you bring along, and he did that after the game. It could have been just about (Dinwiddie), but he wanted to share the moment with a teammate, and as the coach that means that he’s listening to what we talk about. How can we bring another teammate along in the interview? Or on the floor — defensively or offensively — how can we pick someone up? And Spencer has been, number one, the blueprint of doing that, not just on the floor but off the floor, too.”. . . The starters for the All-Star game were announced this past Thursday, and the reserves – voted on by the coaches – will be announced next week. When asked if he’s given much thought into who he’ll vote as the reserves, Jazz coach Will Hardy said: “I have to think about it. I can’t just scribble down some names. It’s hard, though. There’s a lot of good players. We’ve got conversations about it as a staff about who we want to vote for. Ultimately, I’ll break the ties, but it’s hard, man. You always feel like somebody gets screwed, and that’s just kind of the way it is. I don’t know how to solve that. You want to keep it tight so that people feel great about being an All-Star. I don’t want it to be like the (college) bowl games now.” By the way, the All-Star game will be played in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19. . .Prior to Saturday’s game, coach Jason Kidd was asked what he wanted his team to accomplish – besides wins, of course – during the last 10 games before the All-Star break. “We just want to finish these 10 strong,” he said. “It’s not an easy schedule. We play most of them on the road, so this gives us an opportunity to improve our road record. And then health. We would like to get healthy here before the break so that we can start fully healthy and ready to go after the (All-Star) break.”
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