This is a big season for D’Angelo Russell. His rookie season with the Lakers showed flashes of promise, but was somewhat disappointing between his contentious relationship with head coach Byron Scott and the whole Nick Young Snapchat fiasco. Russell’s inconsistent playing time was explained away by some in the organization as stemming from questions about his work ethic, something Russell disputes. In a new story from Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Russell and the Lakers’ other young players — including Larry Nance, Jr. and Julius Randle — detail their offseason workout regimen, and Russell really isn’t trying to hear it from anyone criticizing his drive.
Russell shook his head and offered a dismissive evaluation toward those who questioned his work habits.
“The people that say that about me don’t really matter,” Russell said. “I know I’m in the gym. I know I’m asking for more and trying to get better. So people that are there witnessing it and putting me through the workouts, those are the people that matter.”
Russell has an opportunity under Luke Walton, a younger, more player-friendly coach than Scott, to rewrite his narrative and get a fresh start after a rookie season that didn’t go the way he or anyone else wanted it to. The Lakers are still a few years away from being good, but this season will be a chance to get things going in the right direction.