(J Alexander Diaz/Lakers.com)
2017 Exit Interviews: D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell wrapped up his second season in the NBA with the most dramatic moment of the year. Hours after learning of the unexpected passing of his grandmother, Russell hit the game-winning shot against Minnesota before missing the year's final two games to be with his family in Louisville.
Russell found his rhythm post-All-Star break, averaging 18.5 points on 42.5 percent shooting while mainly playing at shooting guard. This strong finish also included a career-best, 40-point display against the defending-champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Below is a summary of his exit interview:
- The biggest area of concern for Russell is consistency. He said that leadership has always been something that comes naturally for him, but that he “wasn’t consistent enough” with his play to seize that role.
- Russell felt that he improved the most this season with his playmaking ability. He thinks that he can get off the shot he wants at almost any time, but that he made strides in setting the table for others.
- However, Russell wasn’t satisfied by the results of the season. In his exit interview with the Lakers’ front office, he was told to work on his leadership, consistency and building his body.
- It has been an emotional 10 days for Russell, who said that “losing someone that was really close was hard,” but also that “it’s about how you respond.” He said that he played in the Minnesota game since it would always be a game he remembered regardless of the outcome.
D'Angelo Russell on his final game: “It was just what I could do for the team to make the team win.”— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 18, 2017