Lakers News: Tony Allen Recalls Exchange With Talen Horton-Tucker In G League
Talen Horton-Tucker
Adam Pantozzi-NBAE

Talen Horton-Tucker has emerged as the preseason star for the Los Angeles Lakers, making a case he is ready to join the rotation on a regular basis in what could be a challenging 2020-21 season that will be played amid a pandemic.

The Iowa State product started the first two exhibition games against the L.A. Clippers and played extended minutes in the 112-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns, averaging 23.3 points a night. The guard proved to be a capable rebounder and showed off his impressive 7’1 wingspan that translated into some quality defense.

Horton-Tucker has been receiving high praise from Lakers veterans such as LeBron James and Wesley Matthews during the preseason and was said to have even impressed Clippers star Kawhi Leonard.

And former Memphis Grizzlies stalwart Tony Allen told The Ringer’s Chris Vernon the 20-year-old has long been aware he can make it in the NBA. Allen recalled Horton-Tucker exuding confidence during an impressive performance for the South Bay Lakers last season:

“I saw him in the G League and he killed it. He had like 29 at halftime. I’m like, ‘He with us!’ That man looked at me and said, ‘I don’t even belong down here.’ He told me that. He said, ‘I don’t belong in no G League. I don’t belong down here.’ Hit a 3 next play down. Bam. Looked dead at me. I said, ‘That boy real!’ I said, ‘He real.’ … He had like 38 that game in the G League, so now seeing him do this right here, this kid been working on his game. You can tell who’s been working on their game when they come back the next year.”

Ahead of the preseason opener with the Clippers, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said he expected Horton-Tucker to be ready to contribute to the team “immediately.” After the second exhibition game, Vogel added he was not surprised by the second-year guard’s performance, and that he welcomed the 20-year-old showing he was worthy of rotation minutes this season.

Horton-Tucker embraces tough love from Lakers coaches

Vogel has said he has been harsher on Horton-Tucker in training camp, hoping to unleash his potential. And the guard appears to be embracing the extra pressure. “Coaches being a little bit harder on me, I feel like is good for my development,” Horton-Tucker said.

“I just feel like anything the coaches or players say to me is good. So I listen to it and I appreciate it.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Kyle Kuzma ‘Learning So Much’ By Watching NBA Playoffs

While this season was a fifth in a row that the Los Angeles Lakers were not part of the NBA Playoffs, there still were…

Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss Open To Changing NBA Playoffs Format But Not At Expense Of Regular Season

A rash of injuries and struggles to play under trade rumors resulted in the Los Angeles Lakers limping into the All-Star break with a…

Lakers News: Austin Reaves Discusses Why He Grew Up A Kobe Bryant Fan

Los Angeles Lakers two-way player Austin Reaves is extremely excited to be a member of the purple and gold…

Lakers News: Lance Stephenson Details Crossover On Jeff Green, Air Guitar Celebration ‘Only For Threes’

With the Los Angeles Lakers officially eliminated from playoff contention, Lance Stephenson’s crossover on Jeff Green…