At 19, rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers has been thrust into a difficult situation. As the second overall pick in 2015 NBA Draft, Russell is under tremendous pressure to live up to expectations under the bright lights of Los Angeles while other high-profile rookies like Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, and Jahlil Okafor are flourishing on the NBA level.
Although Russell has yet to show the superstar potential Lakers fans were hoping for, the Ohio State product still has a sense of humor. Before taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night, Russell went up against Byron Scott’s son, Thomas, in a friendly game of one-on-one.
The Lakers rookie thought it was a good time to show his latest Kobe Bryant impression via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Russell pulled off his Kobe impression flawlessly with the rookie waving off his teammates behind the three-point line and proceeding to back down his defender in the post. Russell then attempts the patent Kobe fadeaway and ends up with an airball. Whether the airball was intentional or not, the imitation of his superstar teammate was spot on and probably would get a laugh out of the future Hall of Famer if he gets a chance to see it.
The 2015-16 NBA season has been rough for Bryant to say the least. The 37-year-old has struggled in his 20th and final year with the Lakers. Airballs are becoming a common occurrence on the basketball court for the five-time NBA champion that has resulted in some widespread criticism and many wondering if Bryant should retire during the season rather than waiting until it’s over.