D’Angelo Russell and Darvin Ham exchange pleasantries after making headlines for their relationship

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, a report surfaced detailing what the relationship between Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell and head coach Darvin Ham has looked like since the team acquired Russell during the 2022-23 season.

The report made some headlines, particularly because it emphasized that the two haven’t always had the smoothest relationship.

But this season, the two individuals appear to be working better together, and after the Lakers earned an easy win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, Russell and Ham had good things to say about each other while speaking to the media.

“He has a green room,” Ham said of Russell after the guard made 3-point history on Monday. “Not a green light. A green room.”

Russell made six 3-pointers in Monday’s game, giving him 183 triples on the season. He’s now tied with former Lakers guard Nick Van Exel for the most made 3s in a single season, a record that Russell should officially break this week.

The 28-year-old spoke about what it means to have Ham’s trust.

“I mean, I just appreciate him trusting me to that extent,” Russell said of Ham. “Definitely try to feel like I earned something like that and it wasn’t given. So, to know that that’s something I put the work in to do and put the work and continue to do, it seems normal for me, humbly.”

Russell is shooting a career-best 42.4 percent from 3-point range this season. His production from beyond the arc has been one of the biggest reasons why he’s been unstoppable at times.

“His prowess from the 3-point line, you know, it’s really, really elite,” Ham added. “And we need every bit of it.”

The Lakers beat the Hawks 136-105 on Monday, getting L.A. back on track after two straight losses.

The squad still has a lot to play for throughout the remainder of the regular season. While the Lakers are in good shape in terms of securing a play-in spot, they have a lot of work to do if they want to earn their way into the No. 7 vs. No. 8 play-in game — or perhaps earn an outright playoff bid while avoiding the play-in altogether.

While Russell likely has bigger goals in mind than setting 3-point records, he understands that it’s special to accomplish such a feat.

“It’s really cool, honestly, just to know that, to get credit for it,” Russell said. “It’s just really cool. I said I don’t want to underdo it, understate it, overdo it. I just feel like it’s really cool to just be a part of something like that. I think I did something like that in Brooklyn, as well. Just to get credit for your game and what you work through and showcase it every night.”

The Lakers will be back in action on Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers, which will give Russell a chance to officially break the record. After that, the squad will wrap up its week with a game against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

Less than a month remains in the regular season. The Lakers are five games over .500 at 37-32.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.