Los Angeles Lakers guard Dion Waiters will try his hand in multiple arenas, becoming an investor in esports brand Centric Gaming.
The Miami-based Centric Gaming has a focus on esports and related apparel, with the launch of an "ALL IN" merchandise collection coming in November. The collection intends to represent risks while overcoming obstacles and is influenced by the paths taken by Waiters and Centric Gaming founder Kyree Ware.
With Waiters on board, Centric Gaming intends to expand its reach in the future, but it remains focused exclusively on Fortnite at the present time.
Waiters had a troubled 2019-20 NBA season. He was first suspended by the Miami Heat after reportedly consuming a THC-infused edible on a team flight and going into a panic attack. He did not make his season debut until January and was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies two weeks later.
The Grizzlies waived him three days after his debut with the team. He signed with the Lakers in July before the season resumed following a stoppage in play because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Waiters saw action in seven regular-season games with Los Angeles and five playoff games before coming away with a groin injury in the second round of the playoffs. He did not play again as the Lakers went on to defeat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
The Philadelphia native and eight-year NBA veteran first began his association with Centric Gaming in 2019. It was founded in 2016 but was forced to shut down in 2018. The NBA player now becomes the brand's main investor.
"Esports has always been a healthy escape for me and it is something I can see myself being a part of for a long time," Waiters said, according to Esports Insider. "I'm bringing that Champ Cheese Swag to esports!"
Centric Gaming's intention is to provide youngsters a safe outlet through gaming.
"Through gaming we can ... open up opportunities for the youth," a company representative told Esports Insider. "Instead of them being outside, they can be in a safe environment and have the comfort of being inside their own home doing what they love."
--Field Level Media