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D'Angelo Russell.

D'Angelo Russell excited about the "fun" the Lakers will have under Luke Walton

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With the NBA Finals drawing to a dramatic conclusion on Sunday, Luke Walton has now officially begun his new role as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.   

The former Golden State Warriors assistant coach was unveiled to the media on Tuesday and will have no time to dwell on the Finals loss he suffered with his former team as he prepares for a busy summer in L.A.  

Despite not taking a single practice session yet, the former Lakers player has already made a positive impression on several members of his new team. 

Point guard D'Angelo Russell was an onlooker for Walton's introductory press conference and expressed his excitement at working with the man who won two championships with the franchise. 

"I'm like, let's get it. Let's go. I'm excited," Russell said. "I've got a hoodie on and I'm sweating right now."

"I'm ready for summer league. I'm ready for the first game. I'm ready for preseason. I'm ready for the first practice. I'm ready for all that."

The 20-year-old had a rollercoaster rookie season in the league, to say the least. His eagerness to work with the new man at the helm for the Purple and Gold is in no small part down to the fractious relationship he had with the team's former coach. 

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers

Russell and Byron Scott bumped heads constantly during a horrific year for the Lakers where they finished with a franchise-worst 17-65 record. 

Scott decided to take a tough approach on the youngster which didn't always have the desired effect.  

Heading into his second year, however, the Ohio State product is relishing the prospect of working with Walton and developing his talents under him.

"He had a great career coaching, playing," Russell said. "He's been very successful. I'm just very all ears. Whatever he has to offer. He's had multiple years of success coaching and playing. Just all ears."

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

The Lakers are hoping to be one of the most active teams in free agency this year as July 1 looms and will be looking to bring in a marquee name if possible. 

Russell believes with the style his new head coach planning to introduce in L.A., it will help the franchise be a more attractive proposition for players in free agency. 

"Golden State is very successful and what they did, there wasn't a secret to what they were doing," Russell said. "They had fun. They played together. They were a team, and a lot of teams are like that and they're successful. And there's a lot of teams that aren't like that and they're very unsuccessful.

"There's no secret to it. Everybody just wants to be around a team that wins, especially a lot of the vets in this league or young guys that are like, 'Let's just have fun and let's win.'"

Before they enter the free agency period, however, the Lakers' attentions will be focused on the draft which takes place on Thursday night. 

Reports emerged on Tuesday that the Philadelphia 76ers have informed Ben Simmons that they will select him with the number one pick, which is likely to see Duke's Brandon Ingram take his talents to the City of Angels. 

The coming weeks will be crucial for the Lakers organisation if they are to build a competitive team again, but the future is certainly looking a lot brighter. 

Topics:
D'Angelo Russell
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Kobe Bryant

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