Los Angeles Lakers rookie and No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell has had a bit of a rocky start to his relationship with Laker fans. First, he claimed Kobe Bryant rival Tracy McGrady “might have been the GOAT,” and then he called Laker fans “spoiled.”
But Russell got a small chance at redemption when he was asked to throw out the first pitch at a Dodger game on Monday night against the San Francisco Giants. A terrible first pitch might have put him even further behind the eight ball before he even suited up for his first game. Thankfully for him, he managed to throw a pretty decent strike to Dodgers backup catcher Austin Barnes.
It seems easy enough to throw out a successful first pitch, especially because, as a point guard, your career is largely based on accurately throwing passes to teammates. But there’s still a lot of pressure when you’re playing a different sport in one of the first real appearances in front of your hometown fans.
Fortunately, Russell can now check this one off, and he can be thankful he didn’t join the longer-than-expected list of NBA players who made a mess out of their attempt to throw out the first pitch at Major League Baseball games.