D’Angelo Russell has opened up about the impact Kobe Bryant made on him.
Russell is the only current Laker to have played with Bryant, and made the comments ahead of Kobe’s statue unveiling in LA on Thursday.
“For the Lakers organization, you know for his legacy that he’s left behind, I think it’s a huge deal,” he told reporters. “Well deserved. And I don’t even think that’s enough. I think he, I think it should be Kobe Day, all that. I think he deserves more. So that’s the start.”
D’Angelo Russell, the only Lakers player to spend a season on LAL with Kobe, spoke about his “vivid memories” of observing Bryant his rookie season as the franchise prepares to unveil a statue of Bryant this week pic.twitter.com/WryHFqTrHr
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 5, 2024
Russell was also asked about the biggest thing he learned during his one year playing alongside Bryant.
“Honestly, I’d say the biggest thing I learned was just how he moved, you know, not what he said, not anything directly towards me, just being able to sit back in the shadows and watch how he went about his business as a young player. I didn’t know how big of a deal that was, but, you know, when I look back on it, a lot of that’s, those are kind of vivid memories for me. You know, his response, the way you talk, the way you walk, things like that.”
Russell’s lone season with Bryant was in his rookie year in 2015-16. It was also Kobe’s final season.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Russell that year, with the Lakers struggling to win games and Russell himself often forced away from the action due to Kobe taking a lot of shots.
But clearly he looks back on those days fondly, and at this point, that’s all that really matters.