It’s impossible to guarantee any player a ring. Finals series’ are brutal. Games can be unexpected. Even the safest pick can sometimes surprise you. Simply put: You can never know for sure who is going to win. Unless it’s Dion Waiters in 2020.
Waiters will be getting an NBA Championship ring, regardless of who actually wins the series. Circumstance has brought him to this moment, and it’s the best scenario for a player. Waiters signed a contract with the Lakers on March 6 and has been with the team in the bubble. He started the season with (you guessed it) the Miami Heat.
So, in the eyes of the league he was a part of both the Heat and Lakers this season, thereby guaranteeing him a ring no matter what. There’s also a chance he could get double-paid as well. Every NBA player who is a part of the playoffs earns a portion of a stipend pool set aside as a reward for making the postseason. Part of this money is set aside for ancillary team staff, and players who are no longer with the team. The idea being that integral people to a team’s success could still be rewarded, even if business shipped them somewhere else.
Now, it’s uncertain Heat players will vote to give Waiters part of this pool — but there is a possibility. I choose to believe they will, just because it’s so much better that way. The idea that Waiters could earn a ring no matter what, and get paid by both teams in the NBA Finals is the kind of dream we should all get behind.
Sure, as a kid you might have imagined hitting the winning shot in Game 7 to bring your team a title, but for my money there is nothing better than putting yourself in a position to win a ring no matter what, and get paid by both teams. Winning by default is the true sign of greatness. If I was an NBA player I’d try to find a way to play for every team, at least once in my career, just to hedge my bets and get a ring.
In fact, this is my open plea to the National Basketball Association: I would like a 2021 NBA Championship ring. I don’t think this is asking for much. Here’s my proposal:
- Each team signs me to a 1 day, $1 contract. We can get this all over with during training camp.
- Just cut me for conduct detrimental to the team or some other excuse. Signing a writer to a contract is detrimental to the team in its own right, so you have a built in excuse.
- After I receive my NBA championship ring from whichever team wins the title next year, I’ll make a $1,000 donation to a charity of the winning team’s choice.
Everyone wins! Especially me.