Whether he’s handling video cameras or talking with reporters, D’Angelo Russell isn’t exactly the most tactful. That remained the case when Russell spoke with ESPN’s Sam Alipour for a feature in ESPN The Magazine.
Russell, who is entering his second year in the league, shared with Alipour how things will be different this season for the Los Angeles Lakers without Kobe Bryant in the lineup.
“We’re all about playing together now,” Russell told ESPN the Magazine’s Alipour. “It’s not about one guy anymore. It’s about sacrificing for the team.”
Though the comments come off as harsh, Russell says Bryant, who won five championships with the Lakers, deserved the attention during his farewell season.
“Kobe deserved every bit of attention he got in his last year, but there’s freedom in Kobe not being around.”
Though Kobe fans may not react well to the comments, it’s hard to argue with the contents of Russell’s remarks. The Lakers last season were about sending Kobe away in style, not developing players.
In fact, Russell averaged greater than an assist and four points per game more when Kobe was not on the floor. Now, without Kobe, the Lakers will have leadership voids to fill, but that’s why they have new coach Luke Walton and a veteran like Metta World Peace around. Now Russell just needs to learn about what NOT to say to the media, which is something he still hasn’t learned.
H/T CBS Sports
D’Angelo Russell and former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott were hardly a match made in heaven. Scott called out Russell publicly on numerous occasions last season, and the star point guard never seemed to respond well to it.
It’s no surprise, then, that Russell has been praising new Lakers coach Luke Walton during the offseason. In a recent interview with Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, Russell lobbed a few blatant grenades at Scott.
“Everything I went through was new, and there was no guidance from the people that were supposed to give me the guidance,” the 20-year-old said. “I feel like if I came into the league this year, in this environment, it wouldn’t have been as tough. Even if Kobe (Bryant) was here, it still wouldn’t have been as tough.
“The coaching staff, the whole atmosphere that this coaching staff brings is different. I’m not saying better, I’m not downgrading the last coaching staff. I’m just saying the atmosphere they bring every day is a winning mentality.”
There’s a very good chance Scott caught wind of those comments. When TMZ chatted with him earlier this week, Scott brushed the comments off.
“It doesn’t affect me one way or another. It doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “My track record with guards speaks for itself. I don’t pay any attention.”
Scott, who has coached guards like Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, was then asked how he would describe his current relationship with Russell. His response to that was more telling.
“I don’t have a relationship with D’Angelo,” he said emphatically.
You can’t blame Russell for being angry over the way Scott threw him under the bus last season. In addition to questioning his development, Scott also made some comments about Russell’s maturity level that made the former Ohio State star look bad. Even if Russell deserved the criticism, most coaches would keep issues like that in-house.
If D’Angelo Russell is to be believed, the 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers season went about as poorly as it possibly could have for the team’s young guns.
Russell told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times that he never felt that he got the coaching he needed from former coach Byron Scott and his staff, and he also admitted that Kobe Bryant’s season-long farewell stalled the franchise.
“He deserved it; it was his time,” Russell said of Bryant. “They expected so much from so many people, and then Kobe had his farewell tour, and it was just like, we put everything we had, expectations for everybody else, on hold. We gotta get through Kobe’s farewell tour and then we can continue with our process. So we kind of accepted that.”
Russell was critical of the coaching staff, and while he didn’t name names, he did say that the old regime did not give him the help he needed.
“Everything I went through was new, and there was no guidance from the people that were supposed to give me the guidance,” Russell said.
Russell said there is a tangible difference now with Luke Walton and his new staff.
“I feel like if I came into the league this year, in this environment, it wouldn’t have been as tough,” Russell said. “Even if Kobe was here, it still wouldn’t have been as tough. The coaching staff, the whole atmosphere that this coaching staff brings is different. I’m not saying better, I’m not downgrading the last coaching staff. I’m just saying the atmosphere they bring every day is a winning mentality.”
There was plenty of talk during the season that Russell and Scott never saw eye-to-eye, and it sounds like there’s a fair bit of truth to that at least on Russell’s side. Russell also admitted that playing with the now-retired Bryant was no walk in the park. Scott and Bryant are both out of the picture now, and with Walton firmly behind him, he can really kickstart his NBA career.
Nick Young said recently that he is smoothing things over with Los Angeles Lakers teammate D’Angelo Russell. Swaggy P took that a step further on Thursday, telling fans to give Russell a break.
In a brief chat with TMZ, Young was asked for his thoughts on a fan shouting “hide your phones!” at Russell as he was walking into the Staples Center earlier this month.
“We ain’t played a game, how the fans gonna give him a hard time?” Young said.
Young was probably playing dumb at that point, so the photographer clarified that he meant fans were heckling Russell about the cell phone video scandal.
“He good,” Young said. “He good.”
Was that the strongest defense from Swaggy P? No, but considering some of the tweets he has sent in the past about Russell blowing up his spot with ex-fiancee Iggy Azalea, we have to call that progress.
Despite the well-publicized differences they have had in recent months, Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell remain teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers. And if the situation remains that way at the start of next season, Young is confident there will not be any lingering issues.
Young recently told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News that he is willing to bury the hatchet with Russell.
“We’re teammates,” he said. “It’s been so long, so it’s kind of old. “We’ll be able to work it out. We’ve already been working it out. It is what it is. I can’t be mad forever.”
Russell, of course, is the one who shared a video on social media (see it here) that showed Young admitting he cheated on his ex-girlfriend, Iggy Azalea. While Young and Iggy stayed together for a while after the video went viral, it’s probably safe to assume it contributed to the crumbling of their engagement.
Young even cracked a joke about Russell capitalizing on the situation when the then-rookie mocked himself in a Foot Locker commercial.
“I need my commercial now,” Young told Medina. “I’ll explain what happened to my life.”
Swaggy P did not seem pleased with the commercial when it first came out, and this tweet was evidence of that. But time heals all wounds, and the veteran likely realizes that he is going to be the one without a job if his feud with Russell lingers into next season. Trying to move on is best for all parties.
H/T Black Sports Online
Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell and his girlfriend Niki Withers had what was described as a “mutual” breakup earlier this month, but it appears it didn’t last very long.
According to TMZ, Russell and Withers, a USC volleyball player, broke things off because they felt they were growing apart. They reportedly went to dinner recently to talk things over and decided to give the relationship another shot.
Withers and Russell recently deleted all photos on their Instagram accounts that showed the couple together, but that is not the case anymore.
Withers was dating Russell when the scandal with Nick Young erupted and Russell blew up his Lakers teammate’s spot with this video. I guess you can say they have been through a lot together.
If it’s any consolation to Nick Young, D’Angelo Russell is now single, too.
Russell had been dating USC volleyball player Niki Withers. The two recently deleted all photos off social media that showed them posing together. A source reportedly told TMZ that Russell and Withers decided “mutually to break up” and that there is no bad blood between them.
Withers was dating Russell when the scandal with Swaggy P erupted and Russell blew up his Lakers teammate’s spot with this video. She stuck with him through all the drama, but the pair apparently grew apart.
If you remember, Russell was rumored to have been dating someone from the Kardashian clan last year. Nothing ever came of that, but it will be interesting to see who the 20-year-old is linked to next. There’s no place like L.A. for relationship gossip.
D’Angelo Russell is getting some solid experience playing in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas following his rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Hopefully he’ll start getting some experience to improve his work with the media.
Russell hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Saturday to beat the 76ers’ team:
After the game, he was interviewed by ESPN’s J.A. Adande and lamented that he played like s—. Beware of the language:
Hey D’Angelo, just because it’s the summer league doesn’t mean you can just wing it in interviews!
Then again, Russell never has been very good with cameras.
D’Angelo Russell grew accustomed to trade rumors much sooner than most other NBA players, as there was speculation throughout much of his rookie season last year that the Lakers point guard could be dealt. Should he be concerned now that the offseason is here?
Apparently not. Russell said Tuesday that he has a very good reason for not being worried about trade rumors.
“You hear trade talks,” he said, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “Then you get a text from your GM saying he trusts your work ethic and don’t worry about it.”
So there you have it. Mitch Kupchak is not shopping Russell. Or, if he is, he doesn’t want Russell to know about it, but the former seems far more likely.
The Lakers used the No. 2 overall pick on Russell for a reason last year. You don’t bail on that over some social media drama, even if said drama may have resulted in a teammate’s engagement being broken off.
D’Angelo Russell seems to have moved past the uncomfortable off-court drama he was wrapped up in with Los Angeles Lakers teammate Nick Young this past season. We’re not so sure Young is ready to do the same.
On Tuesday, a new Foot Locker commercial was released starring Russell that pokes fun at the video Russell recorded that got Young in trouble with his ex-girlfriend Iggy Azalea. Not long after the ad spot was released, Young sent the following tweet:
Let me guess — he was talking about something else, right? If you haven’t seen the commercial yet, you can watch it here. It’s actually pretty clever.
Since Russell’s video went viral (see it here) a few months back, there has been no indication that he and Young smoothed things over. Now that Young and Iggy have broken off their engagement, it would not be a surprise if Swaggy P never forgives Russell.