D’ANGELO Russell is not the next coming of Magic Johnson for success-starved fans of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The fanbase of one of the NBA’s most popular teams had advised to temper expectations for the rookie guard selected no. 2 overall pick in the last NBA Draft.
“Let's make this very clear, Russell is not Magic Johnson,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott said.
"Magic came on the scene, and instantly he's a Hall-of-Famer. D'Angelo has a way to go, there's no doubt about that.”
“Magic came on the scene, and instantly he's a Hall-of-Famer. D'Angelo has a way to go, there's no doubt about that.”
In his five-game stint in the NBA Summer League, Russell posted decent numbers of 11.8 points and 3.2 assists per game in Las Vegas. However, he shot 37.7 percent from the floor and committed an atrocious 5.2 turnovers per game.
Even the rookie out of Ohio State, whose best performance was his last game when he finished 21 points (10-of-20 from the field), was not impressed by his own showing in Las Vegas where the Lakers went 1-4, including a loss to the Dalla Mavericks which featured Fil-Am Bobby Ray Parks.
“Not good,” Russell told the Los Angeles Times. “I know what I'm capable of, and I know the work that we put in before we came here as a team. I don't feel like we played to our full potential.”
Based on his high turnover rate, it will take time for the 19-year old Russell to adjust to the physicality and speed of the game at the professional level.
“Being nonchalant won't cut it, and I kind of get in the bad habit of being nonchalant,” admitted the rookie.
His coach, however, sees a silver lining from his prized rookie’s summer league numbers, of how expectations should be tempered back to earth.
“Sometimes when you come out here and you're the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 pick, you expect to come out here and tear the league up,” Scott explained. “When guys kind of eat your lunch every now and then, it brings you back down to earth and lets you know that you still have a long way to go. In the long run, this might be the best thing that ever happened to him.”