The Los Angeles Lakers came into Monday’s contest against the Miami Heat already shorthanded and thus could not afford to lose anyone else. Unfortunately that’s precisely what happened as Anthony Davis left due to injury, and then D’Angelo Russell would be ejected in the fourth quarter as well.
As the Lakers were trying to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, Russell would throw a pass that he felt was kicked by the Heat, but no call was made and Miami would get a transition bucket. As Darvin Ham called a timeout, Russell could be seen arguing with the refs and suddenly he was ejected.
Afterwards, Russell remained unclear as to why he was kicked out of the game, but chose not to comment on the situation, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I’d rather not… I’m still trying to figure it out, honestly. I would just rather not say anything mean or that I would regret. So I’d just rather not.”
The officials would give an explanation as to what happened as crew chief James Williams said Russell received one technical for an overt gesture towards the officials, and the second for using vulgarity towards the referees, via Khobi Price of the Southern California News Group:
Pool report on D’Angelo Russell's ejection from the Lakers' loss to the Heat: pic.twitter.com/SUEu5h5NDG
— Khobi Price (@khobi_price) November 7, 2023
There are certain lines that players aren’t supposed to cross when addressing officials and Russell apparently crossed two of them in quick succession. The frustration with the officials was building throughout the contest as it certainly felt like the Lakers were failing to get calls despite clear contact throughout the night.
Russell’s ejection left the Lakers with just six players available under standard contracts, yet the Lakers still came back and had multiple chances to pick up the win, but fell just short. Even still, Russell believes there were some positives for the team to take away from the loss:
“I think this is the adversity that we need as a group. We still had a chance to win the game with a lot of guys out, with all the nonsense that was going on. We still had a chance, that’s all you can ask for, like I said. Unfortunately we didn’t win the game but there’s still some positives to gain from this one.”
Perhaps this is exactly what the Lakers need to start kicking things into gear. Coming into this season with championship expectations, the Lakers now sit at just 3-4 on the year and with a lot of issues that need to be cleaned up.
D’Angelo Russell loves the competitiveness of this Lakers team
Because of the injuries the Lakers have suffered, it has forced head coach Darvin Ham to piece together different lineups that aren’t used to playing together. But Russell believes the fight and competitiveness of the Lakers is showing in these times.
“I think one through 15, everybody’s competitive. Everybody wants an opportunity. Guys that may feel like they should be playing, so when they get that opportunity, they take it out on whoever they’re guarding or things like that. So I think it’s a good problem to have.”
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