D’Angelo Russell says he sees a lot of himself in Cam Reddish, will try to mentor him on Lakers

Mike Battaglino
5 Min Read
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

D’Angelo Russell said he sees a lot of himself in Los Angeles Lakers teammate Cam Reddish and is trying to help the younger player whose career may not have gotten started in the way he would have liked.

Russell said former Brooklyn Nets teammate Joe Harris helped him learn how to improve his professionalism and the perception of him and hopes to pay it forward to Reddish.

“Remind me of myself a lot,” Russell said of Reddish. “Come into the league, not really knowin’ how to be professional. And you gettin’ judged by that. Figuring out a way just to change your professionalism, and do the opposite everything you been doin’. Because obviously the perception of you is what it is, and you can’t change it. The only thing you can change is your approach.

“So forget the past and just change your approach and try to work on your professionalism and how you carry yourself. Understand the perception of you and what they say, what it looks like. Just understanding that as a young player, as a young player it takes you to bump your head a few times to realize your perception.

“So now you got an opportunity around a bunch of vets, a bunch of guys that can help you. Listen. Do more. Do the opposite of what you been doin’.

“I told him when I got to Brooklyn that was my time of kind of going through what he’s going through, bouncing from teams. And I get to Brooklyn, and I met Joe Harris, and I followed Joe Harris. I walked like him. I tried to be there at the gym when he got there. When he left is when I thought about leavin’. I was just on his whole regimen, and I found my regimen within that. But he was a guy I wanted to learn how to be a professional from.”

Both Russell and Reddish were top 10 picks in their respective drafts. Russell was the No. 2 overall selection in 2015 out of Ohio State University, and Reddish was the No. 10 overall pick in 2019 out of Duke University.

It took Russell a while to establish a solid reputation in the NBA, but the 27-year-old seems to have found a home with the Lakers, who signed him to a new contract this offseason. Reddish is in much the same boat, and the 24-year-old has an opportunity to establish a base in Los Angeles after signing a new contract as well.

The Lakers are Reddish’s fourth NBA team in his five seasons after debuting with the Atlanta Hawks before stints with the New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers. Russell also played with four teams in his first five seasons, debuting as a rookie for the Lakers followed by time with the Nets, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves before getting traded back to Los Angeles. He earned his only All-Star game nod in the 2018-19 season for Brooklyn with Harris as a teammate.

Now with the Detroit Pistons, Harris was a second-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft (No. 33 overall) did not have the draft pedigree or high expectations that were attached to Russell or Reddish. But the 32-year-old has fashioned a solid 10-season NBA career and certainly has wisdom to provide.

Russell is considered one of the Lakers’ most important players this season, and the potential of Reddish brings intriguing upside potential to the unit. Working together and sharing a similar background, they could help them reach their goal of contending for another NBA championship.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.