After much anticipation, Montrezl Harrell made his Los Angeles Lakers debut on Friday night against his former team. Though it was just a preseason game, Harrell looked very impressive. He scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the 87-81 win over the Clippers.
Harrell was with the Clippers for a long time and there were a number of players who were surprised when he signed with the Lakers. Patrick Beverley was among the guys who seemed bummed out that Harrell left. While they were talking a bit of trash during Friday’s game, the two men did end up sending positive messages to each other.
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Harrell Talks Mindset Facing Former Team
The Lakers and Clippers may not be longtime rivals but they clearly don’t like each other much these days. Harrell joining the purple and gold definitely had to feel like a slap in the face. However, Harrell wasn’t making that big of a deal of facing his former team.
“I came here with the mindset that I had a job to do tonight. I’m here with my team, which is the Los Angeles Lakers,” Harrell said after the game, via Silver Screen & Roll. “This wasn’t a come out, ‘hey, how you guys doing?’ laughing it up. Nah. I had a job, and I have a mindset of what I came here to do.”
It’s just preseason so the game didn’t matter much. Intensity should be a lot higher when the two teams play to open the regular season on December 22. Last year, the Clippers were the anointed team and the Lakers had the chip on their shoulder. Those roles have flipped this year.
Harrell Addresses Beverley Trash Talk
Despite Harrell and Beverley showing admiration after the game, that didn’t stop the latter from talking his fair share of thrash.
Harrell wasn’t offended by it because he just knows that’s how Beverley acts.
“That doesn’t faze me, man. He’s the same Pat that used to be doing that when I would shoot and be on the other team (in scrimmages) with Lou [Williams] and miss jump shots, or miss a layup or something like that, man. That doesn’t faze me, man. This is basketball,” Harrell said. “If we weren’t in a pandemic and it was a Clippers home game, the fans would be yelling at me and it wouldn’t be no different, man.
“I’m not worried about what Pat is doing on the sidelines. Everything that he’s doing on the sidelines … It’s not anything different than what I knew Pat brought to the table, but it doesn’t faze me,” Harrell continued. “I’m a basketball player, just like these guys are.”
Beverley is one of the most notorious trash talkers in the NBA and Harrell has had a front-row seat to watch for years. Once the two Los Angeles teams play each other in a regular-season game, things will probably get a lot more chippy. Harrell had a strong start to his Lakers tenure and things should only get better from here.