Dennis Schroder finally re-joined the Los Angeles Lakers after sorting out his visa status last week.
Schroder waited for the paperwork to come through while keeping up with his workouts in Europe. The guard comes off a superb performance at the EuroBasket, averaging 22.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists on the way to a third-place finish with Germany.
Now, he returns to L.A. one year after his awkward departure to take care of unfinished business. “Yeah, for sure. I said it in my exit meeting I think that we have unfinished business playing with LeBron and AD,” Schroder said after practice on Monday.
“And now Russ, Pat Bev is here and all those young guys. I’m ready to work and I’m excited.”
Schroder averaged 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 61 games for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season. He was then understood to have rejected a huge contract extension to leave in free agency and sign a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 29-year-old playmaker didn’t get to experience the razzle-dazzle that comes with representing the Lakers during his first stint with the team. Schroder says he looks forward to wearing Purple and Gold in front of L.A.’s fans on a regular basis this time around.
“It didn’t feel anything like it because it was no fans, like you mentioned, the media and all that was not there,” the guard said. “So it was difficult times with COVID, but now being back here, that was another main reason why I came.
“Like I said, I’m excited to play in front of our fans, to compete and do everything in my power to win ballgames.”
Matt Ryan trying to make most of opportunity to play for Lakers
Schroder will be among many players on the Lakers roster who have something to prove in 2022-23. Second-year forward Matt Ryan is in a similar situation after appearing in just one NBA game since going undrafted in 2020.
After joining L.A. for training camp, Ryan had a couple of average games against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns. But he went off in Sunday’s victory over the Golden State Warriors, knocking down six triples on nine attempts to finish the night with 20 points.
The 25-year-old says he is grateful for the opportunity to play for the Purple and Gold and promises to keep the triples flowing for as long as he is with the team. “I’m very fortunate and thankful to get another opportunity tonight after having a couple off games,” Ryan said.
“But I know I can shoot with the best of ’em and I’m gonna just keep getting better and staying ready for my opportunity.”
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