While the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the L.A. Clippers on Friday night did not hold any true significance, it led to a few emotions from Montrezl Harrell.
Harrell had spent a majority of his career with the Clippers, ultimately deciding to leave for the Lakers in free agency, a move that shocked a number of his former teammates.
Harrell started and played significant minutes in the Lakers’ win, showing his value to the team by securing a double-double and simply outworking the Clippers.
He did all of this while withstanding constant trash talk from the Clippers bench. Although he did feel those emotions playing against his old team, he downplayed it.
“There were definitely a few emotions, I guess, but nothing significant really,” Harrell said. “I went out there with a mindset that I had a job to do tonight with my team, which is the Los Angeles Lakers. I had a game plan to execute both offensively and defensively.
“As far as seeing my old teammates and communicating with those guys, I did that after the game for the most part. Lou and Pat, I kind of spoke to before the game just because I’ve been friends with those guys probably my whole career. This wasn’t a come out, ‘Hey, how are you guys doing? Laughing it up.’ I had a job and mindset.”
When asked to comment about some of the Clippers’ young pieces that he got to play alongside last season, Harrell chose to instead talk about the development of the Lakers young core. “No disrespect, but that’s not up to me to really give my opinion on,” he said.
“Their career and growth really has nothing to do with me. Not to be disrespectful, but I really don’t care. I’m not on a team with those guys anymore and that’s not the locker room I’m walking into. How those guys are coming along in their growth or taking the next steps in their career really has nothing to do with me. I wish those guys the best of luck.
“We have young guys on our team that still have to grow. Cacok, Talen is a young guy, Kostas is a young guy. We have young guys on our team we have to grow as well. What they have in the other locker room is not up to me. I’m focused on where I am and my team.”
Frank Vogel credits Harrell for playing hard against former team
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was very complementary of the work Harrell put in during his preseason debut. He especially appreciated Harrell’s ability to pick up the new system in place.
“I think our bench was trying to be energetic like they were in the bubble. Part of our identity is guys who are out of the game, we’re going to be active and into what’s happening in the game,” Vogel said.
“I thought Trezz was good there and just played and competed. Focused on his assignments, learning his new teammates and a new system. I thought he had a great night.”
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