D’Angelo Russell: ‘I Was A Fan’ Watching Kobe Bryant Vs. Wizards
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The Los Angeles Lakers headed into their matchup against John Wall’s Washington Wizards on Wednesday coming off the worst loss of the 2015-16 NBA season against the lowly Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers couldn’t get anything going against the 76ers on Tuesday, but that didn’t carry over to the second game of a back-to-back situation against the Wizards.

Although Bryant’s status for Wednesday’s game was thought to be uncertain due to playing on back-to-back nights, Kobe played and had arguably his best game of the year thus far. Kobe finished with a season-high 31 points and impressed some of his teammates, including rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell.

Bryant helped lead the Lakers to victory against the Wizards with a vintage performance late in the game. Russell spoke to the media after the game and said he felt like a fan watching the five-time NBA champion put on a show in Washington via Lakers.com:

The Lakers had control of the game throughout most of the contest on Wednesday. Los Angeles went up by as much as 19 points in Washington, but Wall and company continued to fight back making it a close game in the final moments.

Bryant’s shooting has been incredibly poor this season leading many to believe it may be time to defer to other consistent players like Jordan Clarkson. Despite his recent struggles, Bryant came up big in the fourth quarter scoring 12 of his 31 points, including a huge three to help seal the deal.

After clinching their third win of the season, the Lakers will continue their road trip taking on the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night at Philips Arena. Bryant and company won’t return to the Staples Center until Dec. 15 to host the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.

ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS KOBE WONT HAVE TOO MANY MORE PERFORMANCES LIKE THIS. THAT CROWD WAS SUPER LUCKY TO WITNESS HIS OLD BLACK MAMBA DAYS……..I WASNT SO LUCKY SO I SPENT MY TIME JUMPING OFF MY COUCH SCREAMING AND MY DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR KNOCKING ON MY DOOR SAYING CAN YOU NOT JUMP. LOL

  • Better question to ask is what’s he taking in (24) to help his own game for the long run.

  • KOBE SCORE SEASON HIGH 31 POINTS. I HAVE 3 GUESSES.
    1). Kobe performs one of his best games because he knows there is another basketball fanatic watching at the White House.
    2) He gets invited to dine with this man perhaps to thank Kobe for all the happy sport moments he has given the basketball world.
    3) Lastly and the most important,”THE SWITCH IS STILL WORKING.”

  • One day football/soccer and basketball will be 1 and 2 as the biggest global sports. Can also thank 24 for his contribution to promoting the sport globally while helping some of these sub-par stars get paid/overpaid.

  • If Kobe can find some consistency and play like today for the rest of the season will he still retire?

  • I knew this day was coming….Kobe has a 30 point game and people start to question if he should retire….And the answer is, “Yes he should retire.”

  • Appreciate the compliment Russell, but we don’t need you being a fan. I personally wanted Okafor so please do something to change my mind.

  • Is it just me or Lakers just needed a loss against 6ers to get on their mind and body to work hard, consistent effort and play as a team

  • he can still play 21st season, although his role should be the stabilizer of the team say 20-28 minutes like Iggy in gsw

  • You’ll be surprised but cricket actually has the 2nd most fans worldwide after soccer. About 2.5 billion.

  • It’s just you not to be negative or anything but that’s Kobes first good game out of 18. We really need feature clarkson more if we want to get a streak going.

  • It was a good game all around, now playing team ball for the first time this season, but don’t hold your breath, I don’t expect it to last, Kobe will not have many more like it , but did enjoy last night–good game guys.

  • Russell is playing very well for a rookie. Plus he is staying out of street fights.

  • Russell seems like a very good kid. Crazy he is just 19. Kobe could be his father haha. Loved that moment when Russell found Kobe for the 3 in the 4th quarter. Of course Russell got pulled for that somehow though.

  • I hope everyone on this board just enjoys watching Kobe for the rest of his last year. Win or lose, good shooting or bad (or extremely bad). We’re not going anywhere so let’s have fun with it like the fans in Washington and Philly. Atlanta is going to be 90% Laker fans tomorrow night… looking forward to that!

  • I’m really okay with all of our players – except we have NO center.

    Roy Hibbert is garbage – his is a de facto dinosaur that is awful on the pick n roll and always gets caught out in no mans land. 7′-2″ and gets 2 boards ….gtfo here

    If we had a good mobile + defensive center that coul run the floor with these young guys we would be much better off. Putting Bass at center is also a waste of time.

    Would have much rather had Enes Kanter.

  • Scott still suck as a coach and the Lakers are not that much inferior in terms of talent behind the Wizards.

  • i hear you but at the same time this season is a joke, our young players are just watching kobe chuck shots, its almost as if the FO doesn’t care about the rest of the team idk how thats going to sit with our young players.

  • Just an incredible performance by Randle. The guy scored 15 with no respect as they pounded him on every shot, no fouls called. if he got veteran calls would have scored 30. All the Glory to Kobe who’s game was medium to good but not great at all 31 points on 24 shots 2 rebounds. Randle consistently killing it, 19 rebounds enough said. Just Sad!

  • Yeah man Hibbert is sooooooo bad, especially at 17 mil per year, bring on Upshaw at hardly anything salary wise. Think he could muster up 2 points and 3 rebounds.

  • Another bad move by LA. Sad they didn’t get some tall pick in the draft instead of wasting it on Brown. Had to be someone there at that time. Seems like getting they had no plan just kinda winging it with Nance and Brown when you already had Russell. At least one could have been a center.

  • LOL, did it make you feel better inside to post that???

    The funniest comment on here that I’ve seen so far today.

  • Yeah, he got pulled for that. Really? Clearly, that’s not why he got pulled. Stop reaching for reasons to criticize somebody.

  • I see your point but our young guys are still getting more PT than rookies on good teams.. They’ll be alright.

  • Observation of the roster. With each game that passes, it is becoming more clear to me that the Lakers should have hitched their wagon to Jordan Clarkson this past summer and began building a team around him. He continues to produce and improve day after day. To me the evidence is now very definitive that the wise move this past summer would have been not to draft Russell and instead focus on Clarkson. This should not be viewed as criticism of Russell, but instead praise for Clarkson. Russell is really starting to show signs that he may turn out to be just as good as pre-draft projections. However, with Clarkson already in house, the Lakers had an opportunity to go in an entirely different direction. For instance…

    1 – The Lakers had a possible trade on the table which could have resulted in DMC coming to LA. How different would the Lakers look to possible free agents had they opted top trade their pick and bring back DMC?

    2 – The Lakers could have traded down in the draft and filled a clear need through the draft. Whereas the Lakers saw Russell as a better option than Okafor, Porzingis or Mudiay, what would other teams below them have seen? The Lakers could have brought back some pretty great assets by trading with a lower seeded team.

    3 – With teams like New Orleans, Portland and Houston falling on hard times, the Lakers could have actually ended up as a solid playoff team this year. Instead of going for the total rebuild, they could have simply reloaded with Clarkson, Randle, and Nance and then used the draft pick and wise free agent signings to fill in the gaps. I also believe that this would have brought the best out of Kobe in his last season by giving him a team that can compete now. The beauty of this is that it would still have given the Lakers a team for the future at the same time which is a win/win.

    Clarkson is clearly proving to be worth being the main attraction at least for now. However, I have a bad feeling that he and Russell will eventually prove not to be a great pairing and the timing with trading one will not be right to get enough back in return. Only time will tell, but going with Clarkson as the main guy is looking more and more like the right move.

  • You do realize that a great night in the NBA these days is shooting 50% which means making half of your shots. Free-throws and 3-points can improve that line, but if a player isn’t getting many free-throws or making many 3-pointers, their production is going to look like 1-point per shot attempt. Keep in mind, Kobe was 10/24 which is just 2 shots off of a 50% shooting night. That is a solid night for a shooting guard in the NBA today.

    Plus, Randle hasn’t consistently did anything well thus far. Last night was GREAT, but to act as though that is normal is a far stretch. Consistency has been the total issue for the Lakers thus far. They have the talent to do what they did last night EVERY night. If they were, everything would be looking much better right now.

  • Clarkson and Russell numbers are actually pretty similar. Biggest difference is Russell is 4 years younger. Just imagine what Russell will be putting up when he is 23.

  • Ok Kobe apologist. There’s more than one in every city. Kobe shot 41% on a mountain of shots. To downplay Randle is simply inappropriate. He has been completely slowed by Kobe’s past and continued ball hogging. Granted he is going out that way. I Sadly, would say and many have agreed, not only Randle but others would be more consistent without the Kobe or at least less of one. Good game by Kobe but Randle won the game with his play along with Clarkson.

  • Great game Randle was outstanding. We got to see old Kobe for a bit. Clarkson was solid as always getting a taste of what’s it like to be in the trenches in crunch time. A classic J. Wall and Kobe battle in the 4th. Fun game to watch.

  • Hey they all played well and without each playing their part. The Lakers as a team wouldn’t have won that game.

  • 1) Lakers willing to trade for DMC as long as it’s Dlo-DMC swap but kings wanted Randle and JC be included…so no to that deal, but I still want DMC and Rondo as a laker though

    2) can only hope DLo keeps on shining and maybe we can trade for a guy like Lilliard, then sign KD +(Pau & Hibbert paycuts)

    3) yeah, I feel sad bout it, LAL should of been in the top 8 if they can only take advantage of the current situation, hate to see Kobe go out like this(lakers top 3 lotterY)

  • Eric Pincus ‏@EricPincus

    @FutureAussieKen well Wall’s big run in the late 4th I believe came after Russell was pulled

    1

    16h16 hours ago

    Eric Pincus ‏@EricPincus

    D’Angelo Russell stat of the night – 4 steals – his defense is a work in progress but he’s gradually improving

  • DMC,Drummond,Whiteside,Noah,Pau,Horford…hope lakers gets 1 or 2 of those guys with KD? maybe a DLo-Hibbert package will net lakers a good player

  • I know what Russell means, but this is part of the problem imho — they need to be his teammates and his peers…not his “fans”. Need guys like MWP to remind them that they’re all professionals now and need to prove it every night, even if it means NOT deferring to Bryant.

    And you KNOW Bryant would respect them more for it – he wants fools to man up.

  • If DLo keeps on shining there will be no need to trade for a guy like Liliard, who the Lakers’ already have in Clarkson.

    Still, you are correct — given the way the current CBA is structured, the only way I’d want to give up one of the youngsters is if I could get a youngster in return. Not sure if DMC is worth it at this point…unless he’d put them over the top. EDIT: oops, didn’t realize DMC is only 25. That changes things…

  • Pau??? Really?

    The Lakers could have gotten DMC without giving up Randle and Clarkson. The issue was always that the Lakers didn’t want to give up Russell. Clarkson wasn’t even considered much this past summer.

    Lillard is worth way more than Russell. Compare their rookie seasons….says it all.

  • Lillard is a shoot first point guard….the Lakers don’t need that. They need a defensive wing player that can guard at least 3 positions and also shoot the ball well. They need a guy like Jimmy Butler.

  • LOL….what numbers are you looking at? I see no similarities. The fact that you said that shows that you aren’t paying attention.

    Russell better be great in 4 years or this draft was a waste!

  • Could have had Okafor at center right now.

    The Lakers had a point guard…Clarkson.
    The Lakers had a shooting guard…Kobe.
    The Lakers had a forward…Randle.
    The Lakers needed a second forward and a center….and they chose another guard instead.

    Things could be much different right now.

  • Wait a minute…You said Randle has been consistently killing it at first. Now you are saying that he has been slowed by Kobe? Which one is it?

    I never said that Randle didn’t win the game. Why does one have to be lifted up over the other? Can’t they both be praised for a good night?

  • I saw it…does that mean he was pulled because of that play. If i go to the bathroom after posting this message does that mean that you made me have to go to the bathroom? Is it not possible that i was already needing to take a dump?

    Sometimes things can be unrelated and just happen at the same time.

  • I am looking at their per 36 numbers. Russell is actually better at rebounding, steals and assists. But Clarkson isn’t too far behind.

  • I will spell it out for you…..Consistent as in effort. His effort is slowed by Kobe taking the ball to his corner and playing like no one else is on the team.

  • yeah well, You Kinda hyperventilated his 41% shooting night into greatness & ok stuff. LOL!

  • lol nope, Sac wants a king’s ransom for DMC(3 young guns), Lakers only willing to give up Dlo but NOT JC AND RANDLE!

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