The Los Angeles Lakers have been dealing with countless rumors regarding the future of Kobe Bryant following this NBA season. With speculations pointing to the imminent retirement of the Black Mamba, the entrance of rookie D'Angelo Russell in the Los Angeles Lakers locker room further evoked talks of an NBA star eyed as the next Kobe Bryant. It appears, however, that the praises heaped in the performance and skills of D'Angelo Russell have yet to convince the Los Angeles Lakers to trust him as one of the starting basketball stars this NBA season.
According to sources, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has opted not to guarantee D'Angelo Russell a spot in the starting lineup this NBA season. Insiders reveal that Scott is not that keen on letting the rookie loose in the hardwood court, citing various reasons such as age and development arc.
"It's really all based on his developing, it really has nothing to do with anything else," disclosed Byron Scott, referring to the possibility of having D'Angelo Russell to start alongside Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers head coach added,"I'm trying to figure out what's best for him right now. And obviously, what's best for him is, in my mind, probably what's best for the team as well. It's just the fact that he's still very young, very talented, he's still getting a grasp of everything that's going on. What I will say is, that his last couple of days of practice have been really good. I like the direction that he's headed."
Sources reveal that the Los Angeles Lakers will be starting Jordan Clarkson, Roy Hibbert and Julius Randle alongside Kobe Bryant in the first match against the Minnessota Timberwolves this NBA season.
For his part, the Los Angeles Lakers rookie shared that he intends to focus on improving his game. D'Angelo Russell noted that Byron Scott asked him to find ways to develop his defense and rebound skills in an effort to eventually help him with the role the NBA team truly intended for him to play - that is, to be a playmaker. Apart from the guidance from the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, D'Angelo Russell also receives constant tips from Kobe Bryant himself.
The Black Mamba has been reported to act as a mentor to the newcomers, with sources claiming that Kobe Bryant zeroed in on D'Angelo Russell. He shared, "My responsibility is just to kind of show him [D'Angelo Russell] the little intricacies of the game. Making the right reads with certain match-ups that he might have." Kobe Bryant added, "To educate him on some of these little tendencies that I've known since I've been in the league."