With eight games remaining in the 2015-16 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are at the bottom of the Western Conference and headed to the draft lottery for the third consecutive season.
Throughout the season, the focus has been on Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour and the development of the young core. Unfortunately, a video recently surfaced in the past week where a private conversation between D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young was recorded.
According to Baxter Holmes and Marc Stein of ESPN, there are now trust issues between Russell and some of his teammates:
Sources told ESPN.com that trust in Russell from some teammates is eroding after a video surfaced in the past week that shows the 20-year-old former Ohio State standout and No. 2 overall pick from the 2015 draft recording a private conversation between Russell and teammate Nick Young in which Young does not appear to realize he’s being taped.
As a result of the video surfacing, some of Russell’s teammates have ‘isolated’ him according to ESPN:
At a recent breakfast meeting, one source said, no Laker would sit with Russell at his table. The source added that, in another instance, Russell came into the locker room and sat next to guard Lou Williams, who got up and walked away.
In his first season with the Lakers, the point guard has experienced his highs and lows. After initially starting, head coach Byron Scott demoted him to the bench before giving him another opportunity following All-Star Weekend. In 72 games, Russell is averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 27.5 minutes.
Russell is expected to lead the Lakers in the post-Kobe era and it will be interesting to see how the situation develops.