The Los Angeles Lakers held two first-round draft picks in 2015, selecting point guard D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 overall pick and then one of the steals of the draft, Larry Nance Jr., with the 27th pick.
The two became very close in their time with the Lakers, but Russell’s tenure in L.A. came to an end this past offseason as he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
Russell is set to make his return to Staples Center Friday night when the Lakers host the Nets, and on a recent appearance on the Lakers Nation Podcast with Trevor Lane, Nance discussed Russell’s return and how excited he is to get to play against him:
“It’s going to be so much fun. Me and him, we came in together, and doing something like that you just build a bit of a bond. Being in the same draft class and all that, and plus he’s a great guy. So I can’t wait, I know he can’t wait, so I think it’s going to be a really fun showdown for everybody to watch.”
Unfortunately for Nance, he won’t get that opportunity as he fractured his hand in Thursday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
It’s currently unknown how long Nance will be out for, but he surely will be missing Friday’s game so he will have to watch his former teammate make his return to Staples Center from the sidelines.
Russell is off to a good start with the Nets, averaging 21.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists through his first seven games. Russell had some extraordinary performances at Staples Center when he wore the purple and gold, so it will be interesting to see what kind of game he has Friday night, especially since he will be matched up with the guy that replaced him, rookie Lonzo Ball.
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