After the disappointing Kobe Bryant farewell tour season of the LA Lakers, the team will now try to reel and put things back on track with a new dynamic team and optimistic coach. But D’Angelo Russell thinks that the rebuild and development of the team could have already been done last season, if not only for Kobe.
According to an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Russell attributed the Lakers’ stalled development of Bryant’s season-long pre-retirement tour.
“He deserved it; it was his time,” Russell stated during the interview. “They expected so much from so many people, and then Kobe had his farewell tour, and it was just like, we put everything we had, expectations for everybody else, on hold. We gotta get through Kobe’s farewell tour and then we can continue with our process. So we kind of accepted that.”
Seemingly kind words, despite the fact that D’Angelo Russell still acknowledges that all plans of the franchise were all put to a complete halt. Though the Lakers guard did not have the same “nice” comments when he was asked about his previous coaching staff.
D’Angelo Russell looks forward to new Lakers coaching staff
“Everything I went through was new, and there was no guidance from the people that were supposed to give me the guidance,” D’Angelo Russell shared, obviously pertaining to former Lakers head coach Byron Scott. Both guard and mentor clashed loudly last season, making the upcoming season more exciting for Russell, who has already seen a number of changes with Walton taking the reins.
“I feel like if I came into the league this year, in this environment, it wouldn’t have been as tough,” the guard admitted. “Even if Kobe was here, it still wouldn’t have been as tough. The coaching staff, the whole atmosphere that this coaching staff brings is different. I’m not saying better, I’m not downgrading the last coaching staff. I’m just saying the atmosphere they bring every day is a winning mentality.”
But will this winning mentality to be enough to get the Lakers back into contention? For fans of purple and gold, it may be the only thing they have, for now.
Photo Courtesy: Erik Drost/ Flickr