i_bc_ae_7d_gettyimages-490699320.png
According to Russell himself, however, making a run for the playoffs is just part of his grander plan for Los Angeles. In a larger feature story on his relationship with his father appearing in ESPN the Magazine, Russell made it clear to Baxter Holmes of ESPN that he has high aims for the Lakers (emphasis mine): “I don’t want that ever again,” Russell says. “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.”