Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell and former coach Byron Scott did not have a good relationship last season, but the second year player has nothing but raves for new head coach Luke Walton, as he told Serena Winters of LakersNation. “He’s one of the best people I know, as far as off the court,” Russell said of Walton. “We communicate on and off the court as much as possible. I feel like I can call him anytime. He’s not like a head coach that will sit back and just watch his other coaches and colleagues just train other players, he’s always involved. He’ll get out there and play with you if he wants. It’s just great to have a young coach like him in the building.”
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- The Spurs have a number of new faces on their bench heading into the season and the players are still trying to get to know each other and build chemistry, Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News writes. “We’re still trying to figure out some guys’ first and last names,” said Jonathon Simmons. “In another week, everything should be coming together.” San Antonio is also trying to fill a major leadership void now that Tim Duncan has retired, McDonald adds. Speaking about the players’ offseason practice and workout sessions, Kyle Anderson said, “Some days [in the past], they’d [the coaching staff] leave it up to Tim to run it. It’s a little weird without him there.”
- In a recent chat where he answered reader questions, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News opined that rookie small forward Nicolas Brussino‘s upside makes him a player worth watching this season for the Mavs. The scribe did note that how well the 23-year-old from Argentina will adapt to the American style of play remains a major question mark.
- The Rockets, Spurs, Lakers and Pacers are among the teams who are interested in Carl Landry, who was waived by the Sixers this week, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.