The Los Angeles Lakers have made significant additions to its roster during the NBA offseason. While the newly added talents are undoubtedly highly skilled, such moves require patience from the fans and followers. For instance, rookie Russell D'Angelo, albeit an exciting and promising rising star in the Los Angeles Lakers roster, will still take a few NBA seasons to fully exhibit his potential. Hence, the NBA team must first rely on veterans like Kobe Bryant. However, it looks like doing so would be challenging as well.
One of the most difficult hurdles for D'Angelo to overcome is facing Portland Trailblazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard. According to Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott, the face off against the said NBA team will be a good platform for D'Angelo to gauge the rest of the basketball stars in the league.
"It's kind of like putting your feet to the fire," explained Scott, referring to his decision to allow D'Angelo to battle it out against the experienced Portland Trailblazers point guard, according to Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Lakers head coach added, "He's getting a pretty good indication of what the point guards are all about in this league. I think once you see them for the first time, sometimes it kind of shocks you a little bit because you don't know how good some of these guys are, how quick they are, how strong they are, how explosive they can be."
In the loss of the Jordan Clarkson basketball squad against the Toronto Raptors, fans and followers of the NBA watched in utter shock as D'Angelo unsuccessfully matched Kyle Lowry. However, Scott is not fazed by the rookie's performance. Acknowledging that D'Angelo and the rest of the newly minted Los Angeles Lakers players need time to adapt, the head coach shared that there are other things more important in basketball aside from winning games and outrunning the opponents.
Scott disclosed via Los Angeles Daily News, "I'll tell you what I did the other day, as far as relaying messages: I said there's a couple of things you don't want to be known as in this league." He went on to say, "You don't want to be known as soft, you don't want to be known as a guy who doesn't play hard and you don't want to be known as a guy that they can go at every single night."
Another point of concern among Los Angeles Lakers fans is Bryant's performance this NBA season. Given his age and health status, head coach Scott believed it to be more prudent to cut down the number of minutes the Black Mamba spends in the hardwood court. In doing so, the Los Angeles Lakers could be assured that Bryant will be able to step in during crucial matches this season. With an influx of young players though, it has been increasingly difficult for the Los Angeles Lakers to win games.
Hence, the progress in the performance of big man Hibbert could not have come at a better time for the Los Angeles Lakers. "You have to measure your talent and help your young guys," Hibbert shared with the Los Angeles News Group. He added, "I have to hold myself accountable, too. If I'm not doing something I'm supposed to be doing, I can get called out as well. If I'm holding myself accountable, it helps other people as well."