The Los Angeles Lakers’ most surprising move of free agency was undoubtedly the signing of Montrezl Harrell to a two-year, $19 million contract.
Harrell could have gotten a much larger contract with a different team, but preferred the opportunity to win with the Lakers. Harrell has quickly become a favorite within the locker room with his hard working but enjoyable personality.
Meanwhile, he’s become a fan favorite with his on-court energy and offensive skillset, one that was even more impressive than what was displayed with the L.A. Clippers.
While there are still some doubts regarding Harrell’s overall game, he is not looking to prove people wrong in any way. “Honestly, I don’t really care, man. I don’t have a say in that. It’s neither here nor there,” he said.
“It doesn’t really matter to me what other people think. Honestly, my whole career people thought I wasn’t supposed to be here in the league. I built my name off hard work, playing hard and doing things that don’t really show up in the stat sheet.
“I know how hard I work on my game, I know how hard me and my trainer Rico get after it to improve my game. As far as trying to prove people wrong and what I can or can’t do, it’s not that.”
While he has no interest in changing people’s opinions about him, Harrell alluded to his role with the Clippers when saying that he enjoys the system the Lakers play with. “Honestly, it’s just being able to play my game and not being told and set on it’s got to be this, this or this,” Harrell explained.
“The system I had been playing in for a while was it’s got to be 3s, layups or let’s get free throws. But it’s not like that over here. They play to the style of everybody’s game and we’re not looking at anybody like, ‘You’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that.’ We play basketball over here.
“It’s a free-flowing game, nobody tries to go outside of themselves, and I think that’s the best thing of being on this team and with these guys. Everybody does what they already do well.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has always prided himself on allowing players to flourish in whatever ways they can, very rarely placing limits on what shots a player can shoot in game.
“With all our guys we have to keep defenses honest. Whether that means them going under pick-and-rolls on LeBron and him shooting over the top. Or if Trezz is going to have it in the post, if a player is just going to back up on him, it makes it harder to score at the rim,” Vogel said.
“In some ways, in everything we do, you have to take what the defense gives you. He’s shown an ability to knock that shot down, so he has a green light to take it.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope says Harrell has fit right in on Lakers
With a team being as close as the Lakers were last season, there was some concern that bringing in several new major role players would affect that. However, according to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, that has absolutely not been an issue with Harrell.
“He’s fit right in. We’re a team that likes to crack jokes on each other and be able to laugh with each other. He’s fit right in with that. He came in, we had some jokes for him, he had jokes for us,” Caldwell-Pope said.
“Just laughing. It’s like bringing another brother into the group. He’s just fit right in.”
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!