With D’Angelo Russell‘s rookie season now in the rearview, the Los Angeles Lakers star is focused on improving his all-around game while putting the Nick Young incident behind him. Russell’s first season in Los Angeles took a turn for the worse when news broke about the scandal involving his teammate. The Ohio State product went from being a budding young star to a locker room cancer overnight, and the rookie desperately needed to make things right.
Almost two months after playing in the season finale against the Utah Jazz, Russell recently spoke with Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times about a number of different topics. The incident with Young was one of many things discussed, and it appears that the 20-year-old believes he can only learn from the unfortunate experience:
“I’m glad it all happened. Honestly,” Russell said. “I’m glad I went through all those — I don’t know — all those adversities, different sets of adversities. I think it shows your true character. It’ll only make me stronger.”
Although the incident with Young will continue to tarnish Russell’s image, the young point guard has the unique opportunity to use the unfortunate event to help motivate him in the meantime. Russell appears to be taking the right approach to dealing with an issue that would devastate a lot of young players in the rookie season, but he’s got a long way to go to repair the damage done.
Russell, like many of his young teammates, plans to be back on the floor for the Lakers next month. If all goes according to plan, Russell will lead a talented young squad in the NBA Summer League in July more than likely playing alongside with Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., Anthony Brown, and potentially Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram.
Restricted free agent Jordan Clarkson will be working on a new contract with the Lakers or exploring his options around the league in free agency. Clarkson has repeatedly said he wants to return to Los Angeles and signing a new deal with the team appears to be his top priority this summer.