D’Angelo Russell’s eyes are sparkling as he makes clear how he feels about his new coach. “At this level, I don’t really know what it takes to win,” Russell says. “So from a guy who knows what it takes to win, I can’t do anything but sit back and listen.” He is proud that Walton, from their first time together in offseason workouts, requested Russell’s voice to break the team’s huddles: “This is the point guard! He’s the leader!” Walton bellowed. “When he speaks, guys, you gotta listen.”
“He is a kid,” Walton says of Russell. “A lot of these guys are kids. They went to one year of college and now they live in L.A. and play for the Lakers at 19 years old. It’s crazy to me to think of even trying to succeed under those conditions. “When I was 19, I was getting ready for my second year of college. I still didn’t even know how to pay my own bills or set up my cable, and these guys are literally playing for the Lakers. So I already have a tremendous amount of respect for these guys that are doing that.”
Is this a playoff team? Tom Thibodeau: I don’t know where we are right now. As we prepare, going forward, the big thing is looking at what we’re doing each and every day. I don’t want to put a lid on what we can do, but I want us doing the right things. Concentrate on that improvement and how fast we get there, I don’t know. We’re young and we’re going to improve. I think we’ll be a different team at the end of the year than what we were at the beginning of the year.
Arash Markazi: The Los Angeles Clippers have hired Dee Brown as Director of Player Programs. pic.twitter.com/ixDDupbVxT