D’Angelo Russell Says Winning Is The ‘Main Focus’ For Lakers
Lakers News: L.a. To Open 2016-17 Nba Season Against Rockets
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced the naming rights to their new practice facility. The new facility will be called the UCLA Health Training Center and during the unveiling quite a few current Lakers players, including D’Angelo Russell, were in attendance at the event in El Segundo.

Following the unveiling, Russell fielded some questions from the media about the facility and the upcoming season. Among the questions was whether Russell believes the Lakers will surprise people during the 2016-17 campaign. Russell gave an interesting answer, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

With Kobe Bryant now officially retired, many anticipate Russell to shoulder the load as the new leader of the storied franchise. Russell had somewhat of a subpar rookie season last year leading many to question whether he’d be able to live up to expectations. D’Angelo, however, is using all his doubters and those that have written him off as fuel to his fire for his sophomore season in purple and gold.

Along with having some added motivation of a somewhat disappointing rookie season, Russell will have a fresh start under a new head coach in Luke Walton. Russell has been highly complimentary of Walton since his hiring back in April.

At this point, Russell has a lot going for him. D’Angelo turned a lot of heads in the Summer League and Walton liked what he saw in his point guard. Of all the players on the squad for the upcoming season, Russell will likely be under the microscope more that most meaning he’ll need to have a breakout year to further convince the Lakers brass to continue building around him as well as Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and incoming rookie Brandon Ingram.

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