D’Angelo Russell averaged 13.2 points and 3.3 assists during his rookie season, solid numbers for a 19-year-old kid with just one season of college ball under his belt. But between Kobe’s retirement tour, Byron Scott’s coaching and the beef between Russell and teammate Nick Young, the Lakers were a circus and no one seems happier to be around the new-look Lakers than D-Russ.
While speaking with the Los Angeles Times, the point guard admitted that last off-season didn’t help him prepare for his rookie season, and now he’s having fun:
“Last off-season was Looney Tunes,” Russell said Tuesday. “Wasn’t real. I didn’t get nothing out of it.”
This off-season has been different for the second overall pick of the 2015 draft.
“Fun,” Russell said. “Real fun. The team, I feel like, is growing.”
Russell also said that the overall vibe around the team is different and the new coaching staff has a “winning mentality:”
“I feel like if I came into the league this year, in this environment, it wouldn’t have been as tough,” Russell said. “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.”