Maturity has been an issue with D’Angelo Russell. In fact, it has been one of the major that could be holding him back as he tries to become the next star of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although Russell may still have a long way to go before his potential can indeed be realized, head coach Luke Walton believes his floor general is making progress. Walton said the following about the second-year guard, via Bill Oram of OC Register:
“He’s growing up a little bit, maturing a little bit,” Walton said. “We all know he’s got talent, it’s about being able to use that talent and play this position at a high level. He’s showing good signs of that.”
Russell is coming off a few impressive performances. The Ohio State product has played well since returning to the floor for the Lakers after dealing with multiple injuries suffered in the win over the Indiana Pacers back on Jan. 20.
For the first time in his career, Russell reached double-digit assists during the team’s win over the Denver Nuggets earlier this week. The 20-year-old followed up that performance, in which he came three rebounds shy of recording his first triple-double, with an 11-assist game against the Washington Wizards.
Along with improving his play on the floor, Russell will now have another mentor to turn to in the form of Magic Johnson. The five-time NBA champion had said before the team took on the Boston Celtics on Friday that the two have talked and that he’s looking forward to working with Russell.
The combination of Johnson and Walton should help Russell take the next step in his development while also potentially erasing any maturity issues that have held him back.