D’Angelo Russell Comments on Rookie Season, Luke Walton and More

Entering his second NBA season, D'Angelo Russell is slated to become a focal point for the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant basking in retirement.

Coming off a bumpy rookie year and working with a new head coach, Russell is now able to look back at the 2015-16 season with a different perspective. 

“Last offseason was Looney Tunes,” Russell said Tuesday, per Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. “Wasn’t real. I didn’t get nothing out of it.”

In addition to the offseason being "Looney Tunes," then-head coach Byron Scott did not seem too fond of Russell. 

During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show (via CBS Sports' Brad Botkin) in May after he was fired by the Lakers, Scott referred to Russell as "entitled" and that he was tough on him "to bring him back down to earth..."

Fast forward to this offseason with just over one month until the regular season begins, and Russell told Ganguli it is "fun," and he feels like the Lakers are growing.

One reason Russell feels better about the state of Lakers basketball is new head coach Luke Walton:

I feel like if I came into the league this year, in this environment, it wouldn’t have been as tough. Even if Kobe was here, it still wouldn’t have been as tough. …

The coaching staff, the whole atmosphere that this coaching staff brings is different. I’m not saying better, I’m not downgrading the last coaching staff. I’m just saying the atmosphere they bring every day is a winning mentality.

Walton did earn plaudits last year for his work as interim coach of the Golden State Warriors while Steve Kerr was recovering from back surgery. The Lakers current roster isn't nearly as good as what Golden State had last season, but this is a franchise finally moving in the right direction. 

Russell said Wa...

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