LA Lakers’ young core have varying experiences adjusting to NBA schedule

first_imgThe humble pie that D’Angelo Russell ate this season included a few slices. Lakers coach Byron Scott yanked his starting spot 20 games into the season and remained publicly critical of his progress. Kobe Bryant challenged Russell, including calling him out in a post-game speech to the team. Russell also entered his rookie season unaware of how the NBA’s schedule works. “When you’re in high school and college, you got weekends off,” Russell recalled recently. “When I first came in, I was like ‘Do we get Saturday and Sundays off?’ Everyone laughed at me.” The Lakers usually practice on Saturday and play games on Sunday. Hence, Russell’s recent progression before Tuesday’s game against Orlando at Staples Center went beyond establishing consistency with his starting role. Yet, both Lakers second-year forward Julius Randle and second-year guard Jordan Clarkson dismissed the NBA schedule affecting their play. “The season is still the same time,” Randle said. “It’s just the amount of games. We’d rather play games than practice anyway.” Meanwhile, Scott said that Clarkson’s “never out of shape” after routinely beating teammates in conditioning drills. “It’s kind of easier. I don’t have to wake up for class,” said Clarkson, who has reduced his pre-game workout. “I love what I do. It’s definitely refreshing waking up and coming to work every day.” Pointed wordsAs the Lakers appeared to be headed toward an upset win on Sunday over Golden State, Bryant offered pointed words to his teammates.“Beat the (bleep) out of them,” Bryant said, which a fan captured on a cell phone and posted online. Scott said he’s “not surprised” about Bryant’s words considering he has an “80’s mentality.”“I’m looking at the clock thinking the same thing,” Scott said. “You got your foot on their neck. You don’t let it up.” Injury updateScott said that guard Lou Williams could return for Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks at Staples Center after staying sidelined for the past week with a strained left hamstring. But Williams’ return could hinge on if he can complete at least one practice without any setbacks. Scott conceded Williams’ return will result in fewer minutes for Russell and Marcelo Huertas, but Scott has not yet determined specifics. After playing 35 games in his lone season at Ohio State, Russell has experienced adjustments with a schedule that puts higher emphasis on travel and games and than on practice time and recovery. “It’s tough. I don’t really have a routine,” said Russell, who said he has recently taken pre-game naps. “When you get through that one season, you’ll know what to expect next season.”Scott expects that variable accounting for some of the inconsistency attached to his inexperienced roster.“They’ve adjusted OK,” Scott said. “But I think it has been an adjustment.”Scott reported sharing with his players his pre-game routine during his 14-year NBA career. After morning shoot-around, he watched “Young and the Restless” and “All My Children” while avoiding phone calls. Scott then ate lunch, showered and took a two-hour nap before the game. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Hundreds mourn Vancouver man at vigil

first_imgCandles lit up the end of Northeast Leverich Park Way on Saturday night as hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to James “Jimmy” Rennells, who was found dead in the area, nearly a week after he went missing.Friends, family, acquaintances and even people who didn’t know the 41-year-old Vancouver man attended the candlelight vigil to support one another.Searchers found Rennells’ body in the Leverich Park area Wednesday, by a creek near the Ellen Davis Trail.“I just don’t understand it,” Rennells’ father, Dan Rennells, said in an interview. “There was no reason for him to be out here that we can conceive.”James Rennells called family shortly before 10 p.m. Dec. 22 to say he was on his way home from work, but he never made it home.His father said it appears he died of hypothermia, though an official cause and manner of death has not yet been released by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. Dan Rennells said the toxicology results will likely take weeks.The Vancouver Police Department has not released any additional information and said the investigation is ongoing.James Rennells’ sister, Janice Rennells, said she wanted to bring everyone together to let her brother know he is loved.“He was my best friend,” she said through sobs as she hugged her niece, Kristen Belisle.Belisle, 30, of Kelso described her uncle as wild at heart and a free soul.“We are devastated, absolutely devastated. It’s such a tragedy,” she said. “I mean, look at all of these people. He touched all of these people.”last_img read more