Lakers legend compares D’Angelo Russell ‘when he’s hot’ to Stephen Curry: ‘He is the key’

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Lately, Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell has been on a heater, and it was evident when he scored 30 points on some hot shooting as the team burned the New Orleans Pelicans 139-122 on Friday.

After Friday’s game, Lakers great James Worthy made some fascinating comments on Russell and brought up Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry in the process.

Russell isn’t quite Curry, who most consider to be the greatest outside shooter in basketball history. But on occasion, Russell will go on Curry-like hot streaks, and when he does, it raises the ceiling of this Lakers team.

He went on such a streak on Friday, which allowed him to go 6-of-13 from behind the 3-point line. Thanks in part to him, L.A. turned a competitive game into one in which they had a 13-point lead at halftime.

The former No. 2 overall pick went through a miserable slump in December, and it was so bad that head coach Darvin Ham, with some input from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, benched him. But Russell returned to the starting lineup in January, and since then, his game has seen a revival.

He has had a number of big scoring games since then, including a 39-point outing in his return to the starting five against the Utah Jazz and a showing against the Chicago Bulls in which he knocked down eight triples.

Russell has done all this despite the fact that he was the subject of many trade rumors in January and early February. The trade deadline passed on Thursday with the Lakers doing nothing, which means Russell will remain with them for at least the rest of this season.

He does have a player option for next season, which he could turn down in order to become a free agent or exercise in order to stay. He could once again come up in trade speculation heading into the summer, as the team is reportedly planning on going after a third star such as Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving or Trae Young during the offseason.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.