Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Has ‘Nothing But Love’ For Pelicans’ Jose Alvarado
D'Angelo Russell, Jose Alvarado, Lakers, Pelicans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Play-In Tournament matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans was an extremely intense contest between two teams in which there is a little animosity towards one another. And it didn’t take long for things to get a little chippy between Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado and the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell.

Late in the first quarter, Alvarado, a guard known to be an agitator, was called for a foul while guarding Russell off the ball. He would then bump Russell after the whistle, drawing a technical foul. Russell was also given one for laughing at Alvarado, and the two eventually had to be separated.

It ultimately didn’t matter as Russell went on to finish with 21 points, including an absolutely clutch corner 3-pointer to put the Lakers up four with 51 seconds remaining in the game. Afterwards, Russell brushed off the scuffle, adding that he has nothing but love for Alvarado in an interview with Mike Trudell on Spectrum SportsNet:

“I was already going before that, so I think he was trying to be calculated and cool me off. I respect his competition, I respect everything about him. Nothing but love there.”

Alvarado has a role in the NBA to be a pest to the opposition. He brings an energy and attitude that is needed for the Pelicans, but players understand that, hence why Russell wasn’t bothered by the minor altercation early on. As he said, Russell was already going before that happened, scoring 13 points in the first quarter to keep the Lakers afloat.

And it is that mindset that has made Russell so valuable for the Lakers this season. Alvarado wanted to get into his head and throw him off after a strong start, but Russell wasn’t going to let that happen and when the time came for him to deliver, he did just that with a massive 3-pointer to keep the Lakers in control.

D’Angelo Russell has always maintained a calm and relaxed demeanor and it served him well in helping the Lakers move past the Pelicans and advance to the playoffs.

D’Angelo Russell feels Lakers are better team this year than last

This Play-In Tournament victory for the Lakers now sets up a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets, who swept L.A. on their way to the NBA Championship. But despite that, the Lakers are confident and D’Angelo Russell feels they are a better team overall than they were a season ago.

Prior to taking on the Pelicans, Russell discussed where this Lakers team is at opposed to a season ago and the point guard noted that with the experience the core group gained last year, and the players they added, he believes the Lakers are a better team and is looking forward to these playoffs.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers Free Agent Rumors: Talen Horton-Tucker Drawing Early Interest

As Talen Horton-Tucker continues to have a breakout sophomore season, there has been growing interest around…

Kobe Bryant Among Former Lakers Expected To Attend Shaquille O’Neal Statue Ceremony

Before the Los Angeles Lakers’ Friday night game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team will be honoring one of the best players in franchise history, Shaquille O’Neal…

Lakers News: LeBron James Doesn’t Want Russell Westbrook To Be Too Hard On Himself After Lackluster Debut

LeBron James and Anthony Davis were incredible during the Los Angeles Lakers season opener against the Golden State Warriors…

Lakers News: Brook Lopez Admits Frustration At Not Being Able To Play

The Los Angeles Lakers’ biggest absence over their first two games of the preseason, both figuratively and literally, has been center Brook Lopez…