D’Angelo Russell Trying To ‘Shatter’ Nick Van Exel’s Lakers Single-Season 3-Point Record
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers, Warriors
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell is having arguably his best season as a professional basketball player, and that is in large part due to his play in the last two months since being re-inserted into the starting lineup and his incredible efficiency from beyond the arc.

His 42.4% from 3-point range is the best of his career by nearly 3%. He had never shot over 40% for a season prior to 2023-24. His 173 3-pointers this season are nearing a 30-year old record set by Nick Van Exel.

In the 1994-94 season, Van Exel hit 183 triples, a Lakers franchise record that has stood the test of time. A few players have come close, like Kobe Bryant in 2005-06 with 180, but no one has surpassed that 183 number. Now, with 16 games remaining in the season, Russell is 11 away from doing so.

The Lakers guard spoke about what it would mean for him to break a long-standing Lakers franchise record and what his goals are with the record.

“It would be a huge honor to just kind of put my name into that category,” Russell said. “But me, I feel like if I never left I would’ve been did something like that. So confidently, I’m gonna keep that in the back of my mind and at the same time, I’m still trying to shatter that record, not just get that record.”

If Russell plays all 16 remaining games at his current averages, he is on pace to hit 218 triples, which would certainly qualify as smashing the franchise record of 183. He is hitting just under three 3-pointers a game, meaning it should take him about four games to break this record set by Van Exel 29 seasons ago.

It’s a massive deal for Russell, as he does it with the team that both drafted him and traded him away in order to clear the salary needed to start the building blocks of this current team. And there is no denying that Russell’s impact on the 2023-24 Lakers has been felt. Now, it’ll go in the history books as well.

D’Angelo Russell says injuries have prevented Lakers from clicking

For most of the season, the Lakers as a team have been disappointing, but the team looks like they are finally beginning to figure things out as the stretch run of the season begins, just as they did last year.

But in comparing this season to last, Russell pointed to constant injuries the Lakers have dealt with in hurting their ability to build that necessary chemistry.

“I think this year, injuries have kind of set us back from clicking sooner. So we don’t really have that consistency of what we’re trying to do, or what we’re doing from game to game,” Russell said after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s always like two guys stepping up to do something that they probably didn’t do last game, or haven’t done in the last 10 games just from injuries.

“I think everybody has to keep that confidence knowing that you’re gonna get a chance… I just think that injuries kind of set us back this year. Last year we were fresh, change of group just kind of gave us a new energy, so it’s always good.”

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