One of the more intriguing positional battles for the Los Angeles Lakers during preseason is the point guard duo of D’Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent. The two guards both signed new contracts this summer and have drastically different styles of play, meaning the Lakers could completely shape a lineup’s identity by the guard they pick to run things.
But internally, Russell and Vincent don’t appear to have any sort of angst in their positional battle. The two have already been complimentary of one another in the early stage of the preseason, and both have been given the spotlight by the coaching staff and other players.
Russell is excited about having Vincent on the Lakers because of everything he brings to the game as a player and as a person.
“Confidence. Professional. Killer. He’s just a professional, man,” Russell said of Vincent. “When you have a good group of professionals out there, it’s easy to play with guys like that. You see why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s coming from a great system and organization in Miami, so for us to have him here just adds to our group.”
Vincent has proven what he can do on the biggest stages by playing a major role in Miami’s unlikely run to the 2023 NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets. He can be the starting guard on a championship-caliber team, something very few guards in the league can say.
And it’s clear he’s already bringing some of that Heat culture with him to the Lakers. His professionalism and leadership ability is apparent, and to have Russell praise him despite the two possibly having to fight for minutes this season says plenty about Vincent’s character.
The two guards may sit in front or behind one another on the depth chart, or they may play together, but the mutual respect is obvious regardless of their finalized roles.
Vincent believes Lakers are trending in right direction
Following the Lakers’ preseason win over the Sacramento Kings, Vincent felt the team is trending upwards in preparation for the 2023-24 season.
“It was fun. Everything is headed in the right direction,” Vincent said after the win. “That’s what preseason is for, to kind of gear up. We’re growing closer together as a team and things are starting to click more with each game. Obviously we got a lot of room for improvement but we’re trending in the right direction.”
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