"I don't need that": D'Angelo Russell displays unrequited emotions to Darvin Ham's pep talk after bounce back

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets
D'Angelo Russell displays unrequited emotions to Darvin Ham's pep talk after bounce back

The Los Angeles Lakers faced elimination on Saturday night in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets. Darvin Ham delivered a passionate pre-game speech that ignited the team, leading them to a crucial victory of 119–108 over the defending champions.

At the center of this emotional moment was guard D'Angelo Russell, who had struggled significantly in the first three games of the series. Ham's words appeared to deeply resonate with Russell.

However, the Lakers point guard mentioned not needing it but mentioned he appreciated it.

"I believe in myself more than anybody," Russell said.

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I don't need that, but I appreciate it," he added.

Russell scored 21 points on 8-15, shooting 53.3%, including an impressive 4-8 from three-point range. His performance was key to the Lakers' offensive and defensive effort, which limited the Nuggets to 108 points.

Before the game, Coach Ham emphasized to Russell the importance of giving his best and playing with intensity.

Coach Ham praised the team's improved focus, offensive adjustments, and defensive intensity. He also singled out D'Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves for their key contributions.

While acknowledging the uphill battle they face, Ham expressed confidence in his players and their ability to extend the series. The Lakers' Game 4 win in Denver has injected hope into their fanbase, and Coach Ham's leadership will be crucial as they look to build on this momentum and force the Nuggets all the way to Game 7.

In Game 5 on Monday night, the Lakers will look to stave off elimination and force a decisive Game 6.

D'Angelo Russell's future as an NBA player

Reports suggest that D'Angelo Russell will turn down his club option and become a free agent this summer.

"D'Angelo Russell will likely turn down his player option and become a free agent this summer," according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Last offseason, Russell signed a two-year deal with LA, offering LeBron James a dependable backcourt companion. Throughout the season, he maintained solid averages of 18.0 points and 3.3 assists per game, showcasing shooting accuracy with 46% from two-point range and 36.9% from beyond the arc.

While the Lakers' future with Russell is a hot topic, the guard has been a key piece in their rotation, but his long-term fit with the team remains uncertain.

However, the Lakers' playoff success could complicate matters. A deep run would undoubtedly boost Russell's value, potentially making him an expensive free-agent target this summer.

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