Montrezl Harrell was arguably the most hyped offseason addition for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he ended up overcoming his share of personal struggles during an up-and-down season.
The center was open about dealing with the grief of his grandmother during the season, but that wasn’t the only family he was missing.
Harrell was understandably stricken by grief to the point where he had to take some time off in the NBA bubble last year. In his Lakers exit interview, he even mentioned how it still affects him every day and how people on social media who had the nerve to even mock him for his grief are not helping.
However, Harrell was also missing his family, with whom he is extremely close. This aspect is part of the sacrifice of being great, which Harrell is willing to do.
“It’s definitely tough, but my kids live in a different state, so we kind of have that video function. But any time I can have them out to me, I do it. So, I see my kids not as much as I want to, but I have this time now. As much as I don’t want this to be it, I have it and I don’t want to waste any of it. I have to do everything I can to enjoy as much time as I can with my kids before I get back to the grind of my job. Simple as that. And I got a lot of different things I do off the court business-wise, so I still got a pretty busy summer ahead of me, so it’s all I can do.”
Harrell clearly loves his kids and is a devoted father while also being willing to put the work in to get the best he can out of himself. His future with the Lakers is uncertain and his tenure didn’t produce the expected results of a championship, but he still had a great impact with the team no matter where he ends up.
Harrell served as mentor to Cacok, continued to support Drummond
Harrell was a team player this year as he not only mentored Davontae Cacok, but also provided support for Andre Drummond when he came to the team.
Drummond even called Harrell an ‘incredible professional’ while Cacok mentioned that Harrell ‘took him under his wing.’ Harrell has a player option of $9.7 million next year, but given his lack of playing time to finish out the year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him opt out and test free agency.
Regardless of what Harrell does, the Lakers would be wise to make an effort in keeping him with the team.
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