Lakers Move Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell to the Bench

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott, in yet another move that drove a wedge between him and the team’s fanbase, decided Monday to remove youngsters Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell from the starting lineup.

The lineup shift didn’t change the Lakers’ fortunes—they were beaten 103-92 by the Toronto Raptors.

Both Russell and Randle were disappointed by the demotion, but quickly discovered that things aren’t so bad on the second unit.

Per the LA Times:

Neither player was excited about the switch, which Scott planned to re-evaluate in five to 10 games. […] “I have no idea [why]. I’m just going along with it,” said Russell, the No. 2 overall selection in this year’s draft. “I finally was starting to figure it out and then this happened. … I’ve never been in the [backup] position so I don’t know how it’s going to affect myself. I didn’t expect it to happen like that, so if I was the problem, or if I was the change that needed to happen to better the team, then I guess it was worth it.”


Randle answered the first two questions from reporters with “It is what it is.” Then he opened up, but only a bit. […] “You’re never going to be thrilled about it as a competitor but it’s not in our control. Our control is to go out there and play hard, like we’ve been doing, and just keep getting better,” said Randle, who was drafted seventh overall in 2014.


Russell, 19, started painfully slowly but has been better in recent games. He said he hadn’t come off the bench since his sophomore year in high school. […] “Everybody has a story at the end of the day, as far as what they’ve been through to get to where they want to be. Hopefully I can look back at this and laugh at it,” he said.