After facing off against the Minnesota and Karl Anthony-Towns, Harrell made a comparison to the jungle when talking about competing with bigger players at the center position.
“I don’t really believe in that ‘smaller’ stuff, man,” Harrell told reporters. “At the end of the day, if you believed in that, the elephant would be the king of the jungle, and that ain’t happening. … I come out here and put my hard hat on like everybody else on this team. Everybody in this league knows I don’t back down from anybody. I don’t care what your size is and I don’t care what you do.
“At the end of the day it goes back to our coverages. Our coaching staff was mixing up coverages every time KAT caught the ball. Marc [Gasol’s] coverages were different from mine. I don’t think we let him get comfortable. As far as that giving up size stuff, people who know me around this know I don’t back down from anybody.”
Harrell reposted his comments on Instagram and defended his take.
“I’m just speaking facts. It is what it is. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I won’t stop that for NOBODY!”
Montrezl Harrell on Matchup With Nets: ‘Don’t Really Care’
The Lakers face the Brooklyn Nets in a high-profile game on Thursday, although neither team will be at full strength. Los Angeles will be missing superstar forward Anthony Davis, while the Nets will be without Kevin Durant, who was recently reported as “out” for the matchup.
With so many stars involved like LeBron James, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the result between the two contenders will be talked about no matter what. But inside of the locker room, the matchup isn’t something the Lakers have had circled on their calendars.
“Honestly, I don’t really care,” Harrell said about the Nets game, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We go into every game with a game plan, know offensively, defensively what we want to do in order to win that game, and that’s going to be the same thing we’re going to have to do when we play on Thursday.
“There’s nothing no different. We’re not circling that game. We’re not putting any extra emphasis on that game. It’s just like any other game — we’re taking it one game at a time. We’re still learning, we’re still growing and we’re still building with one another, and we’re gonna have to do it to a higher standard with losing one of our big pieces [in Davis].”
Gasol, Harrell Ready to Step up For Lakers
Davis is not an easy player to replace because of his massive production on both sides of the court. Luckily for the Lakers, they have a deep squad and can call on Harrell, Gasol and others to pick up some of his minutes.
Harrell — the reigning Sixth Man of the Year — has been a massive spark off the bench for the Lakers, averaging 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds.
The 36-year-old Gasol is averaging career-lows in minutes per game (20) and usage percentage (11.3%), but is comfortable in his role.
“There’s games where I’m going to play more and games where I’m going to play less, but if you dwell it on it or feel sorry for yourself or feel some type of way, you go in the next day and get some work in,” Gasol said. “That’s how we fix things in basketball. You go through the next day, the next challenge, and take it on the next team or the next practice. It’s as simple as that. It’s not really scientific.”
The Lakers are early 2.5-point favorites against the Nets for Thursday’s matchup.