The Los Angeles Lakers were able to keep some of their momentum going, picking up a crucial win against the Phoenix Suns to move them to No. 10 in the Western Conference.
The Suns were shorthanded as they were without Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton, but they still put up a good fight against the Lakers. Los Angeles was unable to create too much separation from Phoenix until the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but ultimately they got the job done.
D’Angelo Russell played a large part in the victory, scoring 26 points and draining three of his six 3-point attempts. Russell has looked like a completely different player since his first stint with the Lakers and he reflected on his growth as a person and player after the game.
“I’m just at peace, to be honest. I’ve been at peace for a long time,” Russell said of his maturity. “So, coming into any environment I’m already me as I can possibly be and I’m comfortable with it. And then when I was here, people judged me off being young and being here. So, going back and watching my interviews and watching how I was interacting and things like that, I seen ways how I could grow and not make a distraction on my image.
“So, that allowed me to kind of lock in to that. And also, I’ve always been good at basketball. So, now people notice that when you don’t have distractions off the floor and things like that.”
While Russell looks like a natural fit with Los Angeles, he was honest when asked if the city felt like home.
“Not yet,” he admitted. “I’m a free agent this summer. I’ve been traded midseason, so to get comfortable somewhere, it’s not easy for me. So, until I am, I won’t be comfortable. I won’t feel like it’s home.”
The guard has every reason to feel the way he does as he’s been part of multiple blockbuster trades the past few seasons. However, he may not have too much to worry about as he and the Lakers reportedly continue to have mutual interest in a contract extension.
Should Russell continue to play at the level he has been, there should be little doubt about his future with the purple and gold.
D’Angelo Russell learned to keep crowd engaged from Kobe Bryant
Russell got one of the best mentors as a rookie in Kobe Bryant during his first go-around in Los Angeles. While Russell surely learned a few things offensively from Bryant, he also revealed he learned how to keep the crowd engaged from the Lakers icon.
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