Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell Issues Strong Statement on Ankle Injury

D’Angelo Russell

Getty D’Angelo Russell

Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell sprained his right ankle on February 23 against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter and didn’t return to the contest. The lefty played just 8:48.

The injury occurred when Russell stepped back to inbound the ball under the basket and stepped on the foot of Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo.

“Wrong place, wrong time definitely,” Russell said after the game. “Pretty unlucky for me. Players roll their ankle all the time. I don’t do that often, so it’s obviously new. It is what it is. Not really worried.”

Despite Russell getting hurt and LeBron James and Anthony Davis combining for just 25 points, the Lakers defeated the Warriors by a final score of 124-111 to improve to 28-32 on the season. Malik Beasley led Los Angeles with 25 points while shooting 9-of-16 from the field and 7-of-11 from beyond the arc. Austin Reaves finished with 17 points without missing a shot and Rui Hachimura chipped in 14 points.

“The pieces we added for defense, for offense looks pretty good,” Davis said postgame. “I think we’re playing well. We’re clicking. … Hopefully D-Lo’s injury isn’t severe where he misses time. I think we got a complete team where we’re able to make a little run.”

D’Angelo Russell Plans to Get Meds

Russell said his ankle was sore after the Lakers-Warriors game. The All-Star plans to get meds and do some rehab so he can play against the Dallas Mavericks on February 26.

“Sore, sore,” Russell said about his ankle. “Any other ankle injury, same thing. Sore. Try and bounce back tomorrow, see how I feel. Get some meds in me, some rehab.”

Russell, 27, is averaging 17.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists on the season while shooting 46.4% from the field, 38.9% from beyond the arc and 85.0% from the free-throw line. The Ohio State product is putting up 13.5 points and 5.0 assists per game in four starts with the Lakers.

Magic Johnson: D’Angelo Russell ‘Has Really Grown & Matured’

Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who traded Russell to the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2017, told Bryan Kalbrosky of For The Win that Russell “has really grown and matured.”

“I think D’Angelo has really grown and matured,” Johnson said. “He can score the basketball. He can pass the basketball. He doesn’t turn it over a lot. That’s what I like about him, too. That pick-and-roll with Anthony Davis is going to be special. You have to pick your poison for what you try to do whether it’s Russell coming off the PnR or Anthony Davis rolling to the basket and they’ll have some more time playing with LeBron. If the Lakers can get in, and I think they will, nobody is going to want to play them. That’s for sure.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on February 15 that the Lakers and Russell have mutual interest in a contract extension. Russell becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“Both the Lakers and D’Angelo Russell have already expressed to each other an interest in starting conversations on a contract extension,” Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown. “Russell could be a free agent this summer, but the Lakers traded for him — giving up as part of that package a first-round pick, two second-round picks — not to be a rental, but to be a solution at that point guard position. So expect D’Angelo Russell and the Lakers to really start engaging on those extension talks here in the next weeks and months into the offseason.”

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