Ice In My Veins: D’Angelo Russell and the Future of the Lakers
D’Angelo Russell & The Future of the Los Angeles Lakers
Entering his second year, Los Angeles Lakers starting shooting guard D’Angelo Russell is a bright sign of the future for the NBA franchise.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Yoni Yardeni, weighing in at too big to qualify for a little league football team. I was in fifth grade, two days away from my culmination ceremony. I got my PSP a few days earlier, my birthday/graduation gift, the usual considering they were only a couple weeks apart. I was playing air basketball sans the ball and hoop with a neighbor in my complex, and for whatever reason it was I decided to roll in the dirt. I was a dirty child.
Believe it or not, I ended up with the flu the next morning. That morning was the start of June 14th, 2009. I moved three times throughout that day, walking from room to room in my house wrapped in blankets to resist shivering. That night, I laid down on my old couch and walked Kobe parade around the Amway Center hardwood. My hands up in the air, my cheer waning due to a extremely sore throat and stuffy nose. The following season was a million times more memorable than this.
June 17th, 2010. One of the most important sports events in my life. On this date, at full health, I threw my hands in the air and jumped until my chubby ass hands were getting scratched from punching the ceiling. Kobe held up his fifth championship trophy, along with the city of Los Angeles on his shoulders. 6 years, 9 months, and 27 days later those days became nothing but a sheer memory of what was the most pivotal and polarizing athlete of my generation.
On July 9th, 2016 I witnessed my love for basketball in the coming years form into fruition. In what seemed like just a meaningless summer rookie/sophomore exhibition, the future of the beloved Laker franchise shined brighter than he ever has. D’Angelo Russell showed up as big as a basketball player possibly could in the dead of the offseason. Catching the ball 4 feet behind the 3-point line and throwing it up in a heartbeat as the buzzer sounded and he drilled it in ridiculously impressive fashion.
The first buzzer beater in the post Kobe Bryant era went to the premier building block acquired a 10 months prior to the post Kobe Bryant era. D’angelo Russell is a left handed, crafty, low to the floor, cold blooded marksman of a guard. But above all else, he is becoming a leader. You can hear it in his voice, you can see it in his interviews and most of all his demeanor on the floor. As of these last few days, he’s established the fact he can lead by example and has taken over as the brightest shining star in the summer league tournament, averaging 23 points on 67 percent from the field and 54 percent from beyond the arc.
D’Angelo Russell goes by multiple nicknames ranging from D-Lo to D’angeruss. A shooting guard with the ability to pass as flashy as any point guard in the league who can cause mismatches with his size on smaller guards with the ability to break down bigger forwards and blow right past them is a rarity, and when they come along with as much potential as D’Angelo Russell is a glorious sight for the city of Los Angeles to lay their eyes on. Lakers basketball may not be back to the highest of order, but the future is approaching, and it is all in the hands of number 1.