Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell expects big things from his side this season and in the 2017/18 campaign.
Russell wants to see the Lakers in the playoffs this season, while next season, he is determined to guide them to the NBA Finals.
The Lakers are currently in a rebuilding phase after having lost the legendary Kobe Bryant to retirement at the end of last season. With a group of talented, but mostly inexperienced players, the Los Angeles franchise are in ninth place on the Western Conference standings after having lost 12 of their 22 games to date.
“I don’t want that ever again,” Russell told ESPN. “I don’t want to come in with a losing record. I don’t want to to go to a losing team and you’ve got guys going every which way after practice — the chemistry just wasn’t there.
“I feel like with this team and with this organization, people want to be a part of it. People want to be Lakers. There’s just so much pressure, and some guys handle it and some guys can’t.
“I’ve always been a guy that, I don’t know, just attacks pressure. I want to be a part of this whole thing turning back around.I’ve seen what it was to be at its lowest point. I want to be a part of a playoff run this year … next year, Finals.”
Russell has by far been the Lakers’ best player as he is averaging 16.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals in the 13 games he has played this season. However, he recently sustained a knee injury and it is unclear when he will return.