D’Angelo Russell Wants To Earn Kobe Bryant’s Respect If Drafted By Lakers
Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a lot of debate which player the Los Angeles Lakers should select with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft on Thursday. Ever since the results of the draft lottery were known, three players have gotten a lot of buzz in the city of Los Angeles as potential fits for the Lakers.

— Have you seen the ‘Lakers Nation’ phone case? —

Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell is one of those players and it seems as though the best guard in the draft wants to be a Laker. Russell recently talked about the prospect of being drafted by the Lakers and playing alongside Kobe Bryant, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

If I were to go to the Lakers, I wouldn’t want anybody to hand me anything,” Russell told Yahoo Sports. “I wouldn’t expect Kobe to take me under his wing. I think he will want to see a resemblance of that hunger and fire that he came into the league with as a young kid. No one needs to be nicest guy in the world, or needs to pretend to be that. He will see through that, pick all that apart.

“I’ve got to be me.”

With only a few days left until the Lakers are officially on the clock, the consensus continues to be that Jahlil Okafor is headed to Los Angeles. Karl-Anthony Towns has been given notice that the Minnesota Timberwolves intend to draft him with the top selection meaning Okafor will be there for the taking.

Although Okafor seems to be the player the Lakers will go with on draft day, Russell makes an intriguing case to be wearing purple and gold for the foreseeable future. The NBA is a guard-driven league these days with players like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden paving the way for the future.

Russell fits that mold of a potential star that may propel the Lakers franchise forward with the style of play that has been extremely successful over the last few years. Along with a Curry-like style as a scorer and playmaker, Russell also seems to have the right mentality heading into the draft with wanting to earn his stripes rather than be handed the torch by Kobe as the new face of the franchise.

Okafor seems more and more likely to be the team’s selection on draft day, but Russell continues to have the Lakers brass and fans of the storied franchise second-guessing with June 25 drawing near.

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