This story first appeared on ClutchPoints.
The Los Angeles Lakers made some big moves right before the NBA trade deadline expired. Arguably their biggest addition to the squad comes in the form of D’Angelo Russell, who will now return to LA for his second stint with the squad after the Lakers drafted him as the No. 2 overall pick back in 2015.
Now that he’s back where it all started, Russell spoke out about his first few years with the Lakers. The 6-foot-4 point guard appears to hold some regret surrounding his first stint in LA, particularly on the Kobe Bryant front:
“When I reflect on my time in the past, it’s all Kobe. All Kobe,” Russell said. “I mean, I’ve had some growing pains and I played on the court, but all of that was really a blur. Appreciate Kobe when I was here wasn’t really something that I did because I was young. I was just kinda figuring it out. But as soon as I left, I appreciated him more. Now that he’s gone, I appreciate him even more. So when I reflect on that Lakers team when I was here, it’s all a reflection of him.”
D’Angelo Russell had a chance to play alongside the late, great Kobe Bryant during his rookie year. The Black Mamba retired in 2016, and one year later, the Lakers shipped Russell off to the Brooklyn Nets via trade.
As Russell said, he was too young back then to appreciate what Kobe brought to the table. It was only when they were no longer teammates that DLo realized just how significant that experience was for him.
Right now, D’Angelo Russell is a different player and a different man from the kid who played the first two seasons of his career with the Lakers. He’s matured significantly on a personal level, and so has his game.
Big things are expected from him this time around as he gets the opportunity to play alongside another legend in LeBron James. – Rappler.com
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