D’Angelo Russell Regrets Not Heeding Valuable Advice Kobe Bryant Gave to Him on Lakers

Omar Guerrero
3 Min Read

D’Angelo Russell refused to listen to sage advice from Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant back when the former was still a rookie wearing the Purple and Gold.

The former Lakers guard, who signed a four-year max contract with the Golden State Warriors in the offseason, spoke with The Athletic’s Anthony Slater about Bryant’s words of wisdom to him at a time when the two played opposite each other in the Lakers backcourt.

“Looking back on it, he dropped so many jewels on me that I didn’t even hear because I was not there mentally,” Russell admitted. “I remember one time we were in Houston and I went to his room with his security guard. Kobe comes in and says, ‘You know, when you go on these road trips, you want to have fun, you want to turn up, you want to do all that in these cities.’ But he said, ‘I gained an edge by taking meetings on these road trips, business meetings. What can I do to establish my brand, figure out what I like to do, advance my life after basketball?’”

Bryant’s advice was left unheeded likely because it goes against the grain of what most players do when they’re on the road. Rather than enjoy a tour of the city, the all-time great decided beforehand to prepare for his future outside of his professional basketball career.

Instead of following through on the advice he received, Russell confessed that he was too much in awe of Bryant to understand the valuable life lesson given to him.

“But looking back on it, I’m like, man, he was really teaching me what’s really relevant now and a lot of kids don’t get it until they’re 8-10 years in and realize what they want to do,” he said. “Then they attack it, but they’re on their way out and their (ability to make money) isn’t the same.”

One can only wonder what Russell’s career trajectory would have been had he listened intently to Bryant that day. Would the Lakers have drafted Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft two seasons after selecting the talented Russell with the same pick in 2015?

More than likely, the Lakers would have gone in a different direction that June. But that’s just pure conjecture at this point.

Today, Russell is one of the top starting guards in the league with a career-high scoring average this season of 22.0 points per game for the Warriors to go along with 6.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game.

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Omar is a former writer for King James Gospel. The very first team he rooted for was the Showtime Lakers and his favorite player back then was James Worthy. Seeing the Purple and Gold win back-to-back championships in the '80s made him a basketball junkie for life. He has witnessed and celebrated every Lakers championship since then and is now looking forward to a new era of basketball in Tinseltown led by LeBron James.