If D’Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers wants to return to All-Star Weekend, outside of participating in individual events, he’ll have to earn his way back.
The second-year guard out of Ohio State took part in the Rising Stars Challenge for the second straight year this past Friday. Russell talked about what it’ll take for him to return and go head-to-head with the league’s elite in the years to come, via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
“Winning and making noise in the playoffs,” Russell said. “When you win, everyone gets here.”
Unfortunately for Russell, or any other player on the Lakers presently for that matter, it may take quite some time before the team starts winning and becomes a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference once again.
Over the majority of the last two decades, the Lakers have been a lock in terms of having a representative in the NBA All-Star Game. Kobe Bryant was an All-Star 18 times during his storied career with the Lakers, but it remains to be seen who will be the next in line to represent the purple and gold on the main stage amongst the league’s elite players.
There’s no question the Lakers have some of the most talented and promising young players in the league today. Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, and Ivica Zubac have shown signs of a bright future in Los Angeles, but only time will tell if one or more of these players can take their game to the next level in the post-Kobe era of the Lakers franchise.